Adam Giles, former NT chief minister, hired by Gina Rinehart

Ex-leader of CLP to focus on pastoral side of Hancock’s business in the wake of acquisition of S Kidman & Co

The former chief minister of the Northern Territory, Adam Giles, has taken a job with Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting.

Giles’s appointment as “general manager, external affairs for pastoral” was announced on Wednesday afternoon.

The release did not detail Giles’s duties, but noted the acquisition of the S Kidman & Co cattle station, Australia’s largest agricultural property, by Rinehart’s company.

“Our continued involvement in the Australian beef industry and our north is an important focus for the future of the Hancock Prospecting Group,” Rinehart said.

“I have known and regarded Adam highly since prior to his time as chief minister and look forward to the contribution he can make to our company and continue to make for northern Australia.”

Giles will spend “three-quarters of his time” on his Hancock responsibilities, the announcement said.

A spokesman for Hancock Prospecting said Giles’s role would focus on the pastoral side of the business, including matters relating to promotion and advocacy.

Giles departed Northern Territory politics in August last year, losing his seat in a Northern Territory election that reduced his Country Liberal party to just two seats.

During a tumultuous term in government, Giles held a variety of portfolios both before and after he rolled his predecessor, Terry Mills, for the chief ministership. They included trade, economic development, northern Australian development, central Australian development, treasury and business.

During the election campaign Giles criticised the Labor opposition’s pledge to place a moratorium on fracking owing to community concerns and accused the party of destroying business confidence.

In April Rinehart gave a speech to an invitation-only investment forum in Darwin, where she spoke of the “special” potential of the NT’s gas industry and of Giles as “one of the best leaders in Australia”. At the time she refused to comment on what she thought of Labor’s moratorium.

As well as Kidman & Co, Rinehart’s business interests in the Northern Territory include a joint venture to explore for mineral deposits in the Beetaloo basin, near Katherine.

Affected residents from the communities of Jilkminggan and Mataranka last year protested against exploratory drilling, claiming they weren’t properly consulted and permissions were signed without fully informed consent.


Helen Davidson in Darwin

The GuardianTramp

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