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Lobbyists banned - Premier shuts the door on trio of high profile strategists

Politics

A trio of high profile lobbyists have lost their access to the Palaszczuk Government for the rest of the term as political fallout from the Coaldrake review into integrity issues continues.

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Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Cabinet had opted to ban the three Labor-aligned lobbyists – Cameron Milner, Evan Moorhead and David Nelson – from doing business with the government.

The decision follows Professor Peter Coaldrake criticism of the practice of “dual-hatting”, where such lobbyists would be involved in re-election campaigns for the Labor Party and then take work for clients who wanted to influence government decisions.

“By implementing Coaldrake this will make Queensland the most transparent government in the nation. We want to get it right,” Palaszczuk said on Tuesday.

“Three lobbyists will not be working with the government for the remainder of this term, that means approaching the department or approaching ministers or staff.

“They are Evan Moorhead, David Nelson and Cameron Milner.”

She said Justice and Attorney-General director-general David Mackie would go to New Zealand to examine its system of releasing Cabinet documents within 30 days of a decision being made.

That reform was another of the Coaldrake review’s 14 recommendations, which the premier again said would be implemented in full.

On improve the reputation of political lobbying generally, she said there would be uniform laws across Australia.

“I’d like to see some uniform lobbying rules across the country. I think that would make an easier, level paying field for everybody,” she said.

Palaszczuk brushed off a new poll showing Labor’s primary vote had fallen to its lowest level since the 2020 election.

Labor’s primary vote had fallen to 34 per cent in June, said the YouGov poll published in The Courier-Mail, from 39 per cent in February.

The poll showed the Liberal National Party’s primary unchanged at 38 per cent and the Greens’ up four per cent to 14 per cent.

If an election were held today there would be a hung parliament, but the premier wasn’t flustered.

“The poll that matters of course, is on election day, but we have a big job to do,” she said.

“This means that by the government implementing all those recommendations, it means that we will be the most transparent government and that is a good thing, that is a good healthy thing for democracy.”

Meanwhile, a Crime and Corruption Commission investigation has rejected claims that former Integrity Commissioner Nikola Stepanov had her laptop computer seized by the Public Service Commissioner during a raid on her office.

In a report tabled on Monday, the CCC said the laptop and another device were retrieved from Stepanov’s office in “wholly unremarkable” circumstances and that there was no improper disclosure of confidential information.

The CCC said it published its report on the issue because “a failure to correct the confusion and misinformation around these events may continue to erode public confidence”.

 

 

-with AAP

 

 

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