Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon renewed her party’s call for an Office of the Commission of Lobbying following news that a lobbyist company under a cloud over its activities in NSW is running the Liberal’s Reid campaign in western Sydney.
“The involvement of lobbyist firm 1st State in an election campaign is a bad look for the Liberals,” Senator Rhiannon said.
“1st State owner Joe Tannous has publicly stated that his Liberal position can gain ‘results’ for clients in NSW.
“The job of political lobbyists is to get the government of the day to listen and favourably respond.
“It looks like 1st State is getting in early to tie in potential politicians.
“Lobbying activities need to be more transparent. The public have a right to know how lobbyists undertake their work to influence the decision of political parties.
“The current federal lobbying code captures little of the activity that occurs behind closed doors.
“Reform in this area is long overdue.
“The Greens have called for an Office of the Commission of Lobbying, which would be an independent body that would report directly to the federal parliament. It would have auditing and investigative powers and a mandate to enforce a new lobbying act and a lobbyist code of conduct.
“This Office would bring Australia into line with the higher standards that lobbyists in Canada and the US have to operate under.
“Labor and the Coalition have shown a reluctance to strengthen the rules under which lobbyists operate in the federal parliament,” Senator Rhiannon said.
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