Apr 24, 2014

Liberals, lobbyists and finding the fine line between them

Political lobbying is an incestuous reality. But where does it cross the line into corruption? Governance expert and ACIL Allen executive director Stephen Bartos explores.

In the aftermath of Barry O’Farrell’s resignation as New South Wales premier over a forgotten bottle of Grange, both Prime Minister Tony Abbott and new Premier Mike Baird are cracking down on party officials acting as lobbyists. It’s a good move, one that future Labor governments should also consider.

Lobbying is endemic to politics. Most people who walk into a minister’s office are lobbying for some cause or another. Even the humble constituent who writes a letter to their MP is in one sense lobbying. Lobbying arrives from all conceivable policy perspectives and backgrounds. It is an essential part of parliamentarians becoming informed about opinion. Indeed, some MPs would have great difficulty ever delivering a speech without notes penned for them by an outside interest group.

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5 thoughts on “Liberals, lobbyists and finding the fine line between them

  1. AR

    Line?!? What Line? I see no line!

  2. klewso

    See now where it’s been asserted that to “deal” with Queensland’s then restrictive “(Bligh’s) lobbyist rules”, Wayne Myers (a business partner of Manuel Newman’s chief bureaucrat Jon Grayson) was offered a directorship/loop-hole within AWH, to crawl through – to give the appearance (to the less interested) of probity?
    Is it just me, or does that sound like the one stitched up for Arfur “Daley” Sinodinos?

    [And now Newman Limited News Party puppeteer Santo “Claws” Santoro has been drawn into their field of interest?]

  3. Liamj

    ACIL Allen on how to minimise the malign influence of paid lobbyists .. ha ha ha ha ha.

    Next up: Rupert Murdoch on ensuring accountability in the media.

  4. Liamj

    How much did ACIL charge for the indefensible 2010 claim that solar PV would cost $4,650 a kW by 2015?

    If only Mr Bartos could give us a preview of his mea culpa memoirs, i’m sure that the current ‘review’ of renewable energy target would feature a chapter or two. Save yourself several decades of guilt Mr Bartos and earn your firm a scrap of respectability, reject the corrupt assumptions that the COALition has set for ACILs RET modelling.

  5. julie walsh

    I think the movie “thank you for not smoking” which was a tongue in cheek look at lobbying in the USA.
    Barry O Farrell was fond of saying “people paying lobbyists Re wasting their money”.
    The issue is joe in the street does not have the money to pay a lobbyist so t
    It would be a start if ICACS recommendations about lobbyists were implemented.

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