dark arts of lobbying robs Qld government of trust

Politicians shouldn’t have to be dragged kicking and screaming to integrity and accountability. It should be their working principle.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (Image: AAP/Jono Searle)

How do we define a lobbyist? Dictionaries have it as someone who tries to influence politicians in an organised way. But how it is policed in practice is a murky, dark art that leaves voters, almost always, clueless.

The Morrison government’s election campaign was coloured by accusations of pork-barrelling and the desperate need for a federal integrity body, which we will now get. And in Queensland, at least two inquiries — run by Tony Fitzgerald QC and Professor Peter Coaldrake — are raking over accusations that go to the heart of integrity and accountability in government.

We should be able to trust our governments to act fairly, transparently and in our interests. But history has proved that belief wrong — and that’s why the role of a lobbyist is so central to discussions around integrity and accountability.

Read more about the shortcomings of lobbyist registers.

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