Former WA premier Alan Carpenter joining Wesfarmers as its chief spinner and lobbyist is, in a word, a disgrace.

“His knowledge of government and policy development, combined with his pre-politics life as a senior journalist, will be of great value to Wesfarmers,” said CEO Richard Goyder.

You can bet Carpenter won’t earn his keep at Wesfarmers writing press releases. His job will be to lobby the State and Federal Governments. As the full-time employee of Wesfarmers, he won’t even have to go on any Lobbyist Registers.

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For the former Premier who complained that Brian Burke was able to get his phone number, it’s the height of hypocrisy.

The only difference between Burke and Carpenter’s roles is that Carpenter will be working exclusively for one company, while Burke had his shingle out for anyone who would hire him.

You could legislate against this sort of thing, but there would always be ways around it. What is really necessary is that our politicians accept that the responsibilities of public life don’t stop the moment they resign from parliament. Few appear to do so.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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