A cabinet reshuffle provides the perfect opportunity for a prime minister to clarify the role of incoming ministers. From his deeds, it’s pretty clear Martin Ferguson interpreted his job as representing the interests of those who profit from extracting our resources rather than the citizens who own those resources. And given their praise on his way out the door, foreign miners saw it the same way. The financial and environmental cost of Martin Ferguson’s time in cabinet is inestimable but hardly insignificant. Treasury estimates the second version of the mining tax will collect around $60”‰billion less than the first. Given the “deep understanding” that he had of the mining industry, the only thing that’s unclear is whether he was a willing accomplice in this greatest of tax heists or whether he was just a patsy who fell for their cheap praise.