Jul 1, 2009

New lobbyists land in Canberra every week

The Rudd Government's Lobbyist Register celebrates its first birthday today and is in rude health.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

The Rudd Government’s Lobbyist Register celebrates its first birthday today and is in rude health. According to new figures from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, from 1 July 2008 to 30 June 2009, there were 653 individual lobbyists operating in the corridors of Parliament. The list is growing at about 3-4 per week and shows no sign of slowing.

The Register was a major step forward for accountability that brought the Commonwealth into line with a growing number of states, as well as other countries such as Canada. But as Crikey noted at the time the Register was announced by then-Special Minister of State John Faulkner, it covers just a small part of the lobbying industry in Canberra. The register only requires so-called third party lobbyists to register themselves and their clients. All other lobbyists- such as industry or professional associations and non-government organisations – escape any level of scrutiny.

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