New South Wales Premier Mike Baird calls it “nailing shut the back door to government.” More accurately, it’s putting a CCTV camera on it. Either way, he is to be commended for committing to release “a quarterly diary summary of each minister’s scheduled external meetings”.
The parade of political figures on both sides of politics through the doors of the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption has demonstrated how valuable it can be to business to exert influence over political and bureaucratic decision-makers. Part of the reason for the NSW Liberals’ troubles currently is because of a specific measure, put in place by the previous NSW Labor government, to prevent property developers from donating to political parties in the hope of influencing development approvals. The result has been constant attempts to either game, or outright breach, that restriction in the hope of influencing Liberal ministers (and, of course, it would have been Labor ministers if the latter had still been in power).