Greens spokesperson for democracy Senator Lee Rhiannon says that reports about questionable activities of health industry lobbyists is another reminder of the need for reform of the Lobbying Code of Conduct and political donations.
“Reports about key health industry players lobbying the government over prostheses list prices are a reminder that we have to strengthen the Lobbying Code of Conduct and enforce strict caps on political donations,” Senator Rhiannon said.
“Powerful vested interests trump the votes of ordinary Australians and we see evidence of that every day.
“The Greens have been pushing for these changes for years but the Coalition and Labor continue to frustrate these essential reforms.
“There is a strong case for amending 3.4 and 3.5 of the Lobbying Code of Conduct to expand who is the subject of lobbying to include corporations and organisations which employ in-house lobbyists, and expand who is the subject of lobbying to include all MPs and Senators, as is the case in Canada and the US.
“The current system for disclosure and oversight is absolutely deficient and we need to strengthen those disclosure requirements and establish an Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying with auditing and investigative powers.
“We also want to see a ban on success fees to lobbyists and a cooling off period for ministers who take up work in industries that they had oversight of as Ministers in Cabinet.