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'Thanks for banning me': Lobbyist says Premier was right to lock him out

Politics

A Queensland lobbyist has praised the state premier for banning him from seeking to influence her government.

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Annastacia Palaszczuk has barred lobbyists Evan Moorhead, Cameron Milner and David Nelson from lobbying her ministers and public servants before voters go to the polls in 2024.

The move follows a review by Professor Peter Coaldrake, which recommended all lobbyists be banned from working on election campaigns – something Moorhead and Milner did for Palaszczuk and Labor in 2020.

Critics have branded the move as “sneaky” as colleagues will still be able to lobby the Palaszczuk government in the meantime.

Milner, a former Labor state secretary, has praised the premier’s decision to ban him and implement other recommendations from the review, saying enacting Prof Coaldrake’s advice will improve transparency and government accountability.

“Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk should be lauded for committing to implementing the review’s recommendations in their entirety and to the letter,” he wrote in The Australian on Thursday.

“Queenslanders, having received such an insightful report from Coaldrake, will be watching to ensure the report and all its recommendations are implemented in full and that governments have equally learnt a new approach to delivering on the trust that we the citizens place in them.”

Earlier this week Deputy Opposition Leader Jarrod Bleijie said banning Milner, Moorhead and Nelson did not stop their firms – Anacta Strategies and Next Level Strategic Services – from lobbying the government.

He said the premier “sneakily and trickily” banned the trio when Moorhead had already relocated to Canberra.

“So Evan Moorhead is getting a slap on the wrist,” Bleijie told reporters on Tuesday.

“Evan Moorhead getting told: ‘Sorry Evan, our good mate Evan, you’re not going to be doing work for the Queensland government’ is no punishment because he had already made the decision to leave.

“But what he did do is he left his minions in charge of an actor and they will still be getting government work.”

Bleijie said if the premier was serious about reform she would return about $217,000 in donations the Labor party has received from Anacta Strategies since 2019.

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