Gina Rinehart Has Just Hired Sophie Mirabella. Yes, Seriously.

Mirabella will go from representing mining interests in Canberra to... representing mining interests in Canberra.

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Mining magnate Gina Rinehart has boldly gone where no other business leader has gone before: hiring an ex-politician to run her company’s lobbying operation. Rinehart has appointed ex-Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella to head up the government relations team at her mining company, Hancock Prospecting.

It’s a big shift for Mirabella, who will go from representing mining interests in Canberra to… representing mining interests in Canberra.

In a statement Rinehart said, “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.”

Mirabella heaped praise on Rinehart, describing her as “A great Australian and outstanding role model.” Mirabella used to represent the regional Victorian seat of Indi in federal parliament before losing the election to independent candidate Cathy McGowan. She tried, and failed, to win back at the seat at this year’s federal election.

During the election campaign there were reports that Mirabella pushed her opponent out of way during a photo opportunity.

She also claimed that the federal government had withheld $10 million in funding for the local hospital because McGowan ended up winning the election.

After losing her seat in the 2013 election Mirabella was appointed by the government to the board of the Australian Submarine Corporation. Rinehart’s decision to appoint Mirabella in a government relations position is kind of confusing, given how strained relations were between Mirabella and the rest of the Liberal Party. Just prior to the last election she accused figures in her own party of deliberately undermining her.

It’s not the first time Rinehart has associated herself with the conservative side of politics. In 2013 she donated $50,000 to help Barnaby Joyce win the seat of New England. Th

Given recent government cutbacks to welfare services it’s good to see the private sector doing their bit for unemployed and unpopular politicians. Onya, Gina.