Lobbyist Bill stalled because of Liberal Party incompetence: Greens
30 November 2012
Claims by the Barnett Government that they were unable to meet their election promise to introduce Lobbyists Legislation because of the Greens is spurious nonsense, the Greens have stated today.
“When the Barnett Government took office one of their promises was that they would introduce legislation to regulate lobbyists activity within the first 100 days of Government,” said Greens Electoral Affairs spokesperson Alison Xamon.
“Yet not only did they completely fail, by years as it eventuated, to meet their own deadline of 100 days, but once the legislation did finally appear it was clear that the Barnett Government had no intention whatsoever of introducing an improved standard and increased transparency around lobbyist activity.
“What we did see was that the inadequate and weak legislation that was finally introduced was subject to weeks of criticism and proposed amendment within the Legislative Assembly, and for good reason as the legislation is rubbish.
“Then we saw the Premier sit on the legislation further, coincidentally around the same time that the Premier’s “Leaders Forum” was exposed. This was probably not surprising considering that the publicity surrounding this novel fundraising venture by the Liberal party raised serious questions about the appropriateness of being able to buy access to the Premier for the purposes of political fundraising.
“And when the Bill was finally introduced into the Legislative Council the Government continued to postpone debate on the Bill for months.
“It is absolutely the case that the Greens have proposed significant amendment to the legislation. The main changes would mean that ALL lobbyists would be covered, not just the select minority that the Government decided to focus on. The Bill as proposed is nothing but an attempted whitewash by the Barnett Government to pretend that they are doing something about community concern over lobbyist activity when in fact they were doing the exact opposite. If anything they were creating a worse regime than that currently in existence.
“So the Government has tried to hide their ineptitude by falsely blaming the Greens for the legislation not coming on, conveniently omitting the fact that they had also proposed a number of amendments to their own legislation thereby guaranteeing that the legislation could never be finalised before the election in any event.
“The Greens are not disappointed about that. As we have said, the legislation was a step in the wrong direction anyway. The West Australian public have a right to expect full transparency around all lobbyist dealings with Government.
“But the Barnett Government was clearly never going to do that. And now they have been exposed.
“Simply, if voters want to see action on the issue of integrity in Government then they shouldn’t be looking to either of the major parties for reform,” Ms Xamon concluded.
Hon Alison Xamon MLC
Member for the East Metropolitan Region
Office: 62 Eighth Ave Maylands WA 6051
Postal Address: PO Box 104 Maylands WA 6931
Phone: (08) 9272 1718
Fax: (08) 9272 1719
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