In Pearls and Irritations, we will be running a series on lobbyists and their threat to our democracy.
Lobbyists are undermining public trust in our political institutions.
They are most prolific in Canberra. Lobby firms infest Barton and Kingston. It is easy walking distance to Parliament House, the National Press Club and the major departments. A real LobbyLand with the Minerals Council of Australia, the Australian Medical Association, Lockheed Martin, the Australian Pharmacy Guild, the Business Council of Australia and many more.
The series will address the damage they are doing in many areas of public policy and particularly at the moment in the way the fossil fuel lobby is sabotaging attempts to head off the pending climate crisis.
We will also address possible remedial action.
A major obstacle to reform is that Ministers and senior officials see lobbying as a valuable addition to their pension in ‘retirement’.