Sophie Mirabella appointed to senior role at Gina Rinehart's company

Mining billionaire praises the former Liberal MP’s work ethic and says new government relations role has become necessary due to growth of the business

Sophie Mirabella has been appointed to a senior position in Gina Rinehart’s resources company, Hancock Prospecting.

The former Liberal MP was announced at the first general manager of government and media relations for the firm on Friday afternoon.

Rinehart praised Mirabella’s work ethic in a statement released by the company but did not go into the specifics of her new role.

“Sophie is not shy of hard work, and we are pleased that she has accepted this new challenging role with our hardworking executive team, and I look forward to her contribution towards the HPPL group,” Rinehart said.

She cited the growth in the Hancock business, specifically the establishment of the three major Hope Downs iron ore mines, the Roy Hill mega project and the expansion into beef and dairy, as the impetus for the creation of Mirabella’s role.

The appointment is effective immediately. Mirabella acknowledged her relationship with Rinehart in her statement.

“I look forward to working for Mrs Rinehart who I know well, and who I regard as a great Australian and outstanding role model” she said.

Mirabella served as shadow science minister when Tony Abbott was in opposition and lost the seat of Indi in the 2013 election to independent Cathy McGowan and was defeated again in her bid to win it back last July.

During the campaign she claimed Wangaratta hospital lost $10m in federal funding when she was voted out, which she claimed she was supposed to announce the week after the 2013 election.

She also denied “aggressively blocking” McGowan at a photo opportunity after McGowan said she was stopped from getting a photo with assistant minister for health and aged care, Ken Wyatt.

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Bridie Jabour

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