Big Mac scores private sector job

AN EIGHT-year career in Fraser Coast politics has propelled a former local MP into one of the country’s biggest corporate jobs.

Andrew McNamara, the former State Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation Minister and Member for Hervey Bay, is now the general manager strategy and international policy for the Energy Supply Association of Australia.

Mr McNamara took up the appointment two weeks ago and is based in Melbourne.

And although he was unable to comment on the record yesterday, the Chronicle understands the former politician, who lost his seat in March this year to former Hervey Bay mayor Ted Sorensen, is thrilled about his new career.

He has told Hervey Bay colleagues and friends that he loves the work, loves being in Melbourne but does think of Hervey Bay from time to time.

He said recently that the ESAA role was exactly where he wanted to go with his career.

The ESAA is an industry body that represents the stationary energy sector in Australia, with members owning more than $120 billion in generation, transmission and distribution assets.

Members include government-owned corporations and private companies who retail, generate or supply electricity and natural gas to consumers in Australia.

They service more than 13 million customers and employ more than 49,000 people.

The association is fuel and technology neutral and member businesses have investments across a wide range of fossil fuel and renewable generation technologies.

At the time of his defeat in the Bay, Mr McNamara said it had been “a long and hard eight years in the job and I’ve enjoyed every second of it”.

Labor’s commitment to the Traveston Crossing dam had played a part in his loss.

“I don’t think you can discount it in the course of events,” he said.

“It’s been a negative story almost every second day for two-and-a-half-years since the last election.

“Clearly there was an anti-Traveston vote in the result here.”

ESAA was launched in January 2004 and its website describes the organisation’s role as “seeking to positively influence government policy decisions to ensure that Australia enjoys the benefits of a safe, secure, reliable, sustainable and competitively priced electricity and natural gas supply”.

Mr McNamara was formerly engaged to Fraser Coast councillor Belinda McNeven, who is the deputy mayor. Ms McNeven has indicated she may run for pre-selection for the federal seat of Hinkler, now held by the Nationals’ Paul Neville.

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