BILL: Restrictions on Lobbying

Today Mark outlined the Greens' amendments to this Government Bill which clarify that the restriction on lobbying that currently applies to former South Australian state ministers should also apply to former federal ministers. 

 


Lobbyists (Restrictions on Lobbying) Amendment Bill

The Greens will be supporting the second reading of this bill. It is a fairly simple bill, and we only have one simple amendment to move to it. The Greens' amendment is to clarify that the restriction on lobbying that currently applies to former South Australian state ministers should also apply to former federal ministers.

It has since been drawn to our attention that the amendment that I filed might have the effect of extending the restriction to ministers of other states and territories, so I have clarified, in a second amendment that has since been filed, that it was not our intention to stop the former West Australian or Tasmanian minister for health lobbying in South Australia, because that does not go to the heart of the problem that this legislation seeks to overcome, which is that people who have in recent times been in a position of some authority, being the minister for a particular portfolio, will have some hold or undue influence over current members of either the executive or the parliament. That certainly applies to former South Australian state members of parliament. It certainly applies to former federal members of parliament, but I do not think it necessarily applies to ministers who have been ministers in other state and territory governments.

I do not propose, through my amendment, to impact on the former Northern Territory education minister's ability to lobby in South Australia. I do not even know who might fall into that category, but I do not expect that they would have a great deal of weight such that their lobbying activities would need to be restricted in the same way that recent South Australian ministers might need to be.

With those brief words, we are supporting the second reading. I note that there are some additional amendments that have been filed by the Hon. John Darley, and I think there are some from the Labor Party as well. We will consider those when we get to the committee stage of this debate, but for now we are supporting the second reading of the bill.