« Back to Publications

Australia’s lobbying laws are inadequate, but other countries are getting it right

George Rennie writes in The Conversation (21.6.17) that, when it comes to regulating lobbyists’ access to politicians in the decision making process, countries such as Canada offer Australia clear lessons on how to better police lobbying.

‘Lobbying is a necessary component of representative democracy, yet poses one of its greatest threats.

‘Interest groups must be free to have a say. But the disproportionate influence of a few over many serves to seriously undermine democratic ideals, and comes at great cost to the taxpayer.

‘Given its importance, lobbying is an area that requires thoughtful laws that ensure as much transparency as possible, and prevent officials from abusing their power. In Australia, such laws are inadequate or missing. But other countries have taken important steps, and Australia can learn from their efforts.

‘For the most part, Australia has a system of ill-enforced state and federal codes, administered by partisan bodies. At the federal level, there is the Ministerial Code of Conduct, and the Lobbying Code of Conduct. Both are weak.’

The TJRyan Foundation does not guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of any information or material available on this website. The TJRyan Foundation reserves the right to change information or material on this website at any time without notice. Links from this site to external, non-TJRyan Foundation websites should not be construed as implying any relationship with and/or endorsement of the external site or its content by the TJR Foundation, nor any commercial relationship with the owners of any external site. Should any TJRyan research project be funded by an individual or organisation the source of funding will be stated beside the research report. In all other cases contributions are provided on a pro bono basis.
Receive the latest news

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get notified about new articles

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.