Politician’s/lobbyist’s revolving door must be closed

There are calls for former government ministers to be banned from lobbying for companies for at least three years.

Former Law Council of Australia president Arthur Moses says a three-year ban would bring MPs into line with similar restrictions on senior business executives, whereas Centre for Public Integrity chairman Anthony Whealy says there should be a five-year ban.

The calls come after a dozen ministers from the most recent Coalition and Labor federal governments are either registered lobbyists or are providing “strategic advice” to companies.

From The Australian:

Former foreign minister Julie Bishop, ex-defence minister Christopher Pyne, Liberal trade minister Andrew Robb, and ex-Labor ministers Lindsay Tanner and Craig Emerson are among eight former senior government figures currently on the federal lobbyist register.

More former ministers, including former Liberal treasurer Joe Hockey and Labor communications minister Stephen Conroy, have either joined groups that provide advice to companies on engaging with governments…

Many politicians from both sides of parliament have moved to interest groups – which lobby governments for broad sectors, rather than separate companies – since leaving Canberra…

“The private sector regularly imposes restraints on senior ­executives from working for a competitor for a period of time to protect against the potential misuse of confidential information,” [Former Law Council of Australia president Arthur Moses] said. “It seems rather odd and wrong that cabinet ministers are not subject to the same restraints when they have had access to confidential and secret matters in order to discharge their high office in the name of the people.”

I could not agree more. Lobby should be banned for at least three years (more appropriately five), both at a Federal and state level for all former politicians.

If politicians know that this is the situation before entering parliament then there should be no complaining.

Politicians are very well remunerated while in office where they are given privileged positions of significant influence. Thus, why on earth should they then be allowed to use that knowledge and influence, paid for by our taxes, to create a new career for themselves that will often significantly benefit their sponsors (some state sponsored – looking at you Andrew Robb!) to the possible detriment of the nation?

Coming to think of it, lets extend the ban to senior bureaucrats as well. They too have access to privileged information that can be used against the nation’s interests.

Banning lobbying for at least one political term will contribute to restoring some faith in our political system and the handling of conflicts of interest, both real and perceived.

The politician/lobbyist revolving door must be closed.

Unconventional Economist
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Comments

  1. MathiasMEMBER

    This has been a big one.

    I think it’ll take many years to restore trust after ScoMo.

    I dont think this ones going away anytime soon.

    All it takes is ONE election and its back again. That doesnt give people much faith in democracy anymore.

    Even IF everything gets restored back to normal, my plans to eradicate Government from my and my friends life is already in motion. I’ll be doing everything in my power to protect those I care for and eradicate Government from my life.

    They cant be trusted… and there’s no reason for us to believe we can trust them in the future either.

    Statistically speaking, Liberals have had 28 elections to Labors 14. On stats alone, suggests, Libs will be back to destroy, sell and conquer. I see the Government as nothing more then an Enemy to ‘Quality of Life’, and nothing more. As such, I will be treating them as such.

    The Governments the enemy. They cant be trusted. No matter who gets elected. People cant live like that.

    The Government owes the Young ( people like me ) for the past 15 years. Until thats repayed, my faith is gone. I doubt the Governments got anything left to pay. They’ve done enough damage.

    and what about all the dead Australians? Will the Government be paying for that anytime soon?

    Yeah. Not good enough. This one doesnt get forgiven. This one went too far.

  2. I think that Limited News list is a bit short on.

    Here’s one other for Asbestos Julie Bishop I didn’t know of that I posted in comments on the rba and immigration article yesterday. Yet another rort received immediately post politics. A position with L’Oreal cosmetics wouldn’t seem to be in return for services rendered whilst in government, but what about a temporary migrant wage slave scam and a position with the beneficiary of that, Palladium?

    https://insidestory.org.au/bitter-harvest/

    Bitter harvest

    The pandemic has increased the bargaining power of seasonal workers in rural Australia. But how long will that last?

    …The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade set up a Pacific Labour Facility to administer its Pacific Labour Scheme in October 2018. At some point the facility was outsourced to the international private aid-management company Palladium. Its office in Brisbane refers media queries to the department. Former foreign minister Julie Bishop, who supervised the disbanding of the widely admired AusAID agency within her portfolio and a huge reduction in Australia’s foreign aid program, joined Palladium’s board soon after she left politics in 2019.

  3. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    Id prefer to see the outright banning of lobbying all together!
    People employed in these rolls are pure poison to real and meaningful Democracy.

    The term Lobbyist should carry the same contempt we have for pedophile.

    • Agreed. The whole modern concept of “lobbying” is just crazy.

      Publish Ministers diaries in real time (not that ministers are really the decision makers anyway – think of the thousands of decisions being taken by public servants daily, bad ones of which get the Minister in trouble!)

        • C'est de la folieMEMBER

          No.

          Ministers are

          Entitled to have their day in court
          Cannot be tried by media
          Cant be found guilty without due process
          Are entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise
          Are people who make great sacrifices to advance the interests of Australians
          Are subject to great pressures
          Should be taken at their word
          Shouldnt be held responsible for the behaviour of employees or office staff
          Are advised by their Ministries
          Are accountable to their electorates
          etc etc etc

          but not ‘into trouble’

  4. Display NameMEMBER

    To encourage politicians to go to Canberra as A service to the community rather than a wage and a post political sinecure I would suggest a two term ban on lobbying. Lets encourage people who have actually held real jobs to go to Canberra. Not the current rusted on, job for life, acquire power and do nothing group we currently have.

    I get lobbying, but it is not in the countries or average tax payers best interests to have ex ministers hoovering cash out of consolidated revenue for their latest “job” just because they have contacts and can offer an endless revolving door to the current incumbents that would be helping them.

  5. This is a serious problem and the solution should be more serious than any discussed here.

    A politician or public servant should NEVER work in private industry after their public service.

    The exceptions would be:
    * The politician or public servant was only in a minor role for a few years – ie not important
    * They are broke and need an ordinary wage job
    * The private role is clearly a genuine charity or community service and has no way of feathering their own nest or those of their mates.