Wednesday, 19 September 2018
Lobbying to Political Parties
That the Senate—
(i) reports in the media that not a single lobbyist has been punished for breaching the Lobbying Code of Conduct (Code) in the past five years,
(ii) that in 2016, Mr Ian Macfarlane, 6 months after retiring as the Abbott Government Minister for Energy and Resources, took up the chief executive position at the Queensland Resources Council, advocating for the commercial interests of the very industry he was in charge of regulating only months before, and
(iii) that Mr Macfarlane is not classified by the Code as a lobbyist because he is employed directly as an in-house lobbyist by an industry peak body; and
(b) calls on the Government to update the definition of a lobbyist to ensure that in-house lobbyists for industry and industry peak bodies, such as Mr Macfarlane, are captured by the regulation of the Code.
The opposition supports transparency throughout our political system, but we will be opposing this motion in its current wording. It was the federal Labor government under Kevin Rudd that introduced the code of conduct for lobbyists. The code is intended to be read in conjunction with the ministerial standards and should be enforced as such.