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February 25, 2021

End influence of lobbyists: Lock the Gate

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The Lock the Gate Alliance has congratulated Mike Baird on becoming Premier of NSW, and called on him to immediately act on outstanding recommendations from the ICAC to clean up the systemic and corrupting influence of corporate lobbyists on policy.

Lock the Gate National Coordinator, Phil Laird, said the change in premier provided the perfect opportunity to put a broom through government and its dealings with lobbyists.

He said all of the recommendations of the of the 2010 ICAC report Investigation into corruption risks involved in lobbying should be implemented as a top priority for the new Baird Government.

‘Mr Baird has become Premier under torrid circumstances, and in the midst of an going corruption inquiry that has a long way to run yet. If the Government treats this episode as trivial, or tries to pretend that this was about Barry O’Farrell, or bottles of wine, then the muck will keep spreading,’ Mr Laird said.

‘The government has yet to implement outstanding recommendations from the Independent Commission Against Corruption,’ he added.

‘As long ago as 2010, ICAC recommended that the code of conduct for lobbyists contain a clear statement prohibiting a lobbyist or a lobbyist’s client from offering, promising or giving any gift or other benefit to a government representative, who is being or is likely to be lobbied by them.’

After the conclusion of Operations Jasper and Acacia last year, ICAC again recommended that the NSW government review the recommendations from this 2010 investigation into corruption risks involved in lobbying, and consider adopting the recommendations that apply to the state government’s lobbying regulatory regime, which have still not been implemented.

‘We’ve known for some time that when it comes to the coal and gas industry, the government and private companies are simply too close and the public interest suffers as a result. Water resources, food lands and public forests are being jeopardised or sacrificed in the interests of private companies, whose lobbyists have close access to politicians and the bureaucracy,’ Mr Laird said.

‘We know that Mr Baird was a shareholding minister when Nick Di Girolamo was appointed a director of the State Water Corporation in June 2012. And we know that Mr Baird’s former chief of staff is now the head lobbyist for the coal industry. It is crucial that he comes clean immediately about his relationships with these men and how he intends to cauterise the influence of lobbyists in this state.

‘The NSW community needs to see deep reform in this area. ICAC’s recommendations need to be implemented, and the public interest put back into the centre of government decision-making.’

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  1. ‘ICAC’s recommendations need to be implemented, and the public interest put back into the centre of government decision-making.’ YES, YES, YES!!! But can I add that the specific nature of ‘the public interest’ needs to be decided by the public itself, not the government – in other words, our MPs need to get back to the task of representing their electorates rather than merely the ideologies of their political parties. If the Member for Lismore had truly represented the proportion of his electorate who indicated via a local council plebiscite or community meetings that they wanted to keep their area gasfield free, so many of us would not currently be sacrificing so much of our lives to protect our air, water, soil, agriculture and human well-being at Bentley.

  2. All right – let’s see if his actions match up to his words (yesterday on tv).
    – He sounded like a great, caring individual.

  3. I agree wholeheartedly. I cannot comprehend a system of government that , if a foreign army invaded the country and intended to poison the water, pollute the air, make the people sick, and destroy farmland and property values, would not hesitate to retaliate by activating the armed forces which are there to protect us.
    Instead we have the government preparing to send in riot police against the very people they are supposed to be protecting and who are only trying to protect their future and their children’s future. This country
    has gone mad.

  4. Government by its very nature poisons everything it touches. It baffles me that despite world history people still consider it legitimate. I wish people would wake up from this most dangerous of superstitions, the belief in “authority”. The 15,000 hours of mind control we call “public education” has convinced everyone the emperor is fully clothed. Wake up people!


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