Who Lobbies for Whom in Australia: Canberra's Lobbyist Register
In 2008, the Australian Government established both a Lobbying Code of Conduct and a Register of Lobbyists amid growing concerns about the largely unregulated nature of political lobbying in Australia.
The register is administered by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet 'in accordance with public expectations of transparency, integrity and honesty'.
The register requires any lobbyist who is lobbying government ministers, their advisors or government departments to supply their details on the Register of Lobbyists and to comply with the Lobbying Code of Conduct. Lobbyists must list the name of their lobbying company, the names and positions of lobbyists carrying out the lobbying activities, and the names of the client for whom they are lobbying.
The Registry applies predominantly to lobbying consultancy firms.
It does not require 'in-house' government relations staff of major companies or lobbyists directly employed by peak lobbying groups as staff to register. These lobbyists and internal government relations staff make up a significant proportion of lobbyists and lobbying activities in Australia and their activities remain largely unregulated.
Thumbnail image: Parliament House in Canberra. By xiquinhosilva/Flickr.