Category Archives: Lobbyland

Julie Bishop’s travels along the Gold Brick Road. Part 2

In this second of a three-part examination of the employment of former senior Coalition ministers, we investigate former Foreign Minister Julie (“Duchess”) Bishop’s post-politics employment with the international aid group Palladium. 

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The new normal: the former ministers racing down the Gold Brick Road (Part 1)

This is a three-part look at the afterlife of former Commonwealth ministers of the Crown. Because of space limitations, the inquiry focuses on the notorious post-politics employment of two defence ministers, Christopher Pyne and Brendan Nelson, and one foreign minister, … Continue reading

Posted in Defence and Security, Lobbyland | 1 Comment

Preferential lobbying: a scourge on our democracy (Part 4 of 4)

Preferential lobbying is endemic to “modern” politics. There are no easy fixes, but democracy will continue to wither unless the root causes are tackled. We need to start with amending constitutions. Although this is not easy, innovative constitution building is … Continue reading

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Preferential lobbying: no explicit deals, all unstated understandings. How it works behind the scenes. (Part 3 of 4)

Preferential lobbying is all about access to decision-makers, clandestine decision making, funding of political parties and the often limited subject knowledge of politicians and bureaucrats. It all conspires to subvert the democratic process.

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Preferential lobbying: Money talks … loudly (Part 2 of 4)

Preferential lobbying drives powerlessness, environmental destruction and even in conventional economics is grossly inefficient. Parts 2 and 3 examine how it happens. If your electoral system is open to significant funding by the wealthy, then politicians get bought by lobbyists. … Continue reading

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Preferential lobbying: the rich get richer, the poor get poorer (Part 1 of 4)

In this four-part series, we investigate preferential lobbying – what it is, why it matters, how and why it happens and how to stop it.  Preferential lobbying is primarily wealth appropriation and rarely wealth creation. Every time a decision goes … Continue reading

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Corporate power in Australia

Companies can secure so much economic power they can translate it into the political power, which they use to get laws that further advance their economic power.

Posted in Lobbyland, Politics | Tagged | 16 Comments

Lobby Land -Dan Conifer. Queensland integrity watchdog backs review of lobbying laws.(ABC 7.30,28 Nov. 2020)

The ABC’s 7.30 program this week highlighted the regular, high-level access Annastacia Palaszczuk’s Government has given to a select group of lobbyists. The politically connected lobbying firms represent multi-million and multi-billion dollar companies hoping to influence government decisions.

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LobbyLand: Department of Defence captured by foreign weapons makers Thales, BAE

The culture of cosiness; the revolving door; and undue influence. The relationship between government and military industrial companies is just one strand of the evidence showing the urgent need for a national anti-corruption commission. “Undue influence” is a noted marker … Continue reading

Posted in Lobbyland, Politics, Top 5 | 4 Comments

Lobby Land. The power of the health lobby. Health ministers may be in office but they are not in power

The major barrier to health reform is the power of providers- the health lobby. A succession of Australian health ministers Liberal and Labor for three decades have failed in any serious health reform.  Any Minister, Liberal or Labor who wants … Continue reading

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LobbyLand ‘Culture of cosiness’: colossal conflicts of interest in Defence spending blitz

In Part 1 of her three-part investigation, Michelle Fahy investigates the corporate influence on government policy and how weapons makers cultivate relationships with politicians and top officials in the public service.

Posted in Defence and Security, Lobbyland, Politics, Top 5 | 6 Comments

LobbyLand. The politics of fossil fuels – the pits!

Fossil fuel lobbying is a cancer inflicting death, illness and misery on Australian society. How does it operate, what are its impacts and how can society allow this disabling condition to continue without treatment?

Posted in Health, Lobbyland, Politics | Tagged | 2 Comments

Lobby Land: A Corporate Giant’s Dream and a Regulatory Hot Mess

As Australia’s government has grown in size and scope, so too has the desire to gain its favour, or avoid its wrath. This task increasingly falls to lobbyists. For representative democracy to work, constituents, including corporations, must be able to … Continue reading

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Lobby Land: the Pharmacy Guild’s powerful influence over health policy

The Pharmacy Guild has been called the ‘most powerful lobby group you’ve never heard of’ and for three decades has had a stranglehold on funding for community pharmacy in Australia.

Posted in Lobbyland, Politics | 3 Comments

Lobby Land. “Doubt is their product”: The difference between research and academic lobbying (Pro Market Sep 28, 2020)

Research on market power, its causes, and its consequences has received a welcome revival in the past few years. A group of excellent scholars has managed to make progress on rather hot competition policy topics. What’s more, this research was … Continue reading

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LobbyLand: Democracy on life support as the revolving door keeps swinging

Australian public policy is now routinely moulded to suit the interests of the highest corporate bidders and the lobbyists who represent their interests.

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LobbyLand: An Analysis of Australian Industry Associations’ Influence on Climate Policy

This analysis identified five lobbying organisations that stood out as the ‘most obstructive, negative and influential’ in refusing to address climate change. They were the Minerals Council of Australia, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, NSW Minerals Council, the … Continue reading

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LobbyLand: Unhealthy Business? Health sector lobbyists

In contrast to the United States, where businesses spend billions lobbying, we have weak civil society oversight of what businesses are up to and independent policy development. It’s time for our entrepreneurs to give back to society by funding civil … Continue reading

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LobbyLand. The used motor vehicle lobby.

We are paying to protect an industry that no longer exists. We see it almost every day in the media; rent-seekers like the motor industries extracting benefits for themselves through political influence and lobbying at the expense of the broader … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Lobbyland | 4 Comments

Lobby Land. Influencers or influenced?

Who lobbies the lobbyists? Not the voting public, not the politicians who are part of the reception and creation of knowledge which is the raison d’être of lobbyists, consultants, public relations firms and government relations officers in the large corporations. … Continue reading

Posted in Lobbyland, Politics | 2 Comments

Lobby Land. Government gives in to mortgage broking lobbyists. Putting profits before people.

“Unintended consequences”. It’s the clichè consumer groups such as CHOICE are used to hearing from industry groups every time a major review recommends a change that would put people before profits.

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Lobbyland. Fixing corruption risks in lobbying

‘A lot of money can depend on the success or failure of a lobbyist’s representations to Government.’ That statement, in a report by the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) in 1990, was about lobbying by property developers, particularly in … Continue reading

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Lobbyland: How the lobbies hijacked school education

In all areas of public policy there are groups that engage in advocacy and lobbying to influence public opinion and to advance their special interests. These groups have been obvious and successful over half a century of increasingly privatised school … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Lobbyland | 3 Comments

Lobbyland. The alcohol industry lobbies furiously in the pandemic.

Alcohol industry representatives have been furiously lobbying for concessions to the efforts by governments to restrict the movement of people – the primary tool in fighting the virus.

Posted in Lobbyland, Politics | 2 Comments

Lobbyland. The gambling lobby and how to buy friends and influence governments

There is no shortage of post-political appointments to engage the talents of former politicians to lobby for the gambling industry.

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LobbyLand. Fossil Fuel Lobbyists: Modus Operandi, Impact, Solutions

In Australia, denial mounts. The recent “Gas-Led Recovery” and “Technological Roadmap” announcements of the  Morrison government confirm the continued influence of the fossil fuel industry and its lobbyists.

Posted in Climate, Lobbyland, Top 5 | 2 Comments