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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

WA Lobbyists Register a step in the right direction

It's hardly earth shattering as a transparency initiative but it is an Australian first. Western Australia now has its official Register of Lobbyists up and on line. The Register currently contains 31 entries. Lobbyists must disclose their clients, update client information quarterly and comply with a code of practice. The code prohibits a minister or public servant from contact with a lobbyist unless registered.

A far cry from a truly transparent system that would ensure public knowledge of what goes on in the corridors of power, but at least one small step - for West Australians at least.

According to today's Australian Financial Review (no link available), the famous or infamous Messrs Burke and Grills whose names do not appear, will not be allowed to register.

Victoria is in the process of establishing a register. No sign of action in Canberra, or the other states.

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