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Influence in Australian politics needs an urgent overhaul – here’s how to do it

Kate Griffiths and colleagues write in The Conversation (23.9.18) about their new Grattan Institute report which argues that the secrecy and inequality surrounding who has "say" and "sway" in Canberra can be remedied – if politicians can just find the will to do it.

'Public policy should be made for all Australians – not just those with the resources or connections to lobby and influence politicians. And mostly it is. But sometimes bad policy is made or good policy is dropped because powerful groups have more say and sway than they should.

'Australia’s political institutions are generally robust, but many of the “risk factors” for policy capture by special interests are present in our system. Political parties are heavily reliant on major donors, money can buy access, relationships and political connections, and there’s a lack of transparency in dealings between policymakers and special interests.

'A new Grattan Institute report, Who’s in the room? Access and influence in Australian politics, reveals that access and influence are heavily skewed towards the businesses and unions that have the most to gain (and lose) from public policy.'

 

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