Greens Senator and democracy spokesperson Lee Rhiannon has called on incoming foreign minister Mr Bob Carr to publicly disclose which clients he has worked as a lobbyist for in the last five years and absent himself from Cabinet decision making which benefits these clients for five years after taking office (“Carr to sever corporate ties”, Financial Review, p 6 today).
Mr Carr is registered as a federal lobbyist for Macquarie Group and law firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques.
"There's a public expectation that Mr Bob Carr should not be free to move seamlessly between big business and politics without disclosing whose interests he has been representing,” Senator Rhiannon said.
"The Gillard government must manage Mr Carr's entry to federal parliament and the contacts and information he has gained while as Premier and then lobbying for big business.
"The revolving door between business and politics allows access and influence which is not extended to the ordinary Australian.
"Mr Carr has formed relationships with corporate Australia during his seven years outside of politics which he should not take to the Cabinet table without public scrutiny.
"Connections Bob Carr developed with the private sector as NSW Premier and a lobbyist should not be allowed to unduly influence federal government policy,” Senator Rhiannon said.
Senator Rhiannon is campaigning for stronger federal lobbyist laws, which last week the major parties rejected in a report of a federal government inquiry.