Jeremy Vargo

By Jeremy Vargo - 04/09/2013

Jeremy Vargo

By Jeremy Vargo -

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Lobbying Disclosure Bill rejected

In October last year, Maxim Institute made a submission to the Lobbying Disclosure Bill. You can read the executive summary of our submission here, where we described the Bill as “wrong in principle,” outlined the four main problems with the Bill, and called for it to be rejected.

The Government Administration Committee has completed the submissions process, and reported back on the Bill. They have decided to reject the bill, stating that “the bill could have unintended consequences for the openness of our democracy by limiting the ability of people to express opinions and impart information freely.”

Whilst rejecting the Bill, the Committee did take the opportunity to recommend some “non-legislative alternatives” which could help ameliorate some of the issues identified by the Bill. These include recommendations “that the Government:

– require the regulatory impact statements and explanatory notes of parliamentary bills to include details of the non-departmental organisations consulted during the development of related policy and legislation

– encourage the proactive release of policy papers to make the policy-making process more transparent.”

The proposed Bill had serious flaws which would have significantly limited the public’s ability to engage with our parliamentarians, and created a special group of lobbyists with privileged access to MPs. We’re happy to see this Bill rejected.

You can read the Committee’s report here

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Jeremy Vargo

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