The Senate today supported an Australian Greens motion to force the government to disclose currently secret meetings between former ministers and current ministers or senior officials which may breach the Statement of Ministerial Standards.
Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Resources spokesperson, Queensland Senator Larissa Waters said:
“It’s time to put a stop to the influence of big polluters running rampant in our politics.
“Ex-resources Minister Ian Macfarlane ignoring his government's lobbying rules with the Prime Minister’s blessing, to stroll into a $500,000-plus job as head of Queensland’s peak mining body just 12 months after being Resources Minister is just the latest example.
“The multinational mining companies and big polluters stalk the halls of power, and for their efforts, they’re set to receive $24 billion in fossil fuel subsidies in the next four years
“Along with dirty donations from big polluters, the revolving door between lobbyists and parliamentarians greases the wheels of democracy in favour of industry instead of the people. It's time to jam that door shut.
“Today the Greens started to do just that.
“Our motion in the Senate, passed with the support of Labor and the crossbench, will force the government to disclose every time a former minister meets with current ministers or senior officials within the 18-month ‘cooling off’ period.
“This motion which establishes an ‘Order of Continuing Effect’ will force the government to publish a list of meetings before every Senate Estimates session, allowing Senators to scrutinise what goes on behind closed doors.
“Sunlight is the best antidote to the corroding influence of the big polluters, and we hope forcing the government to disclose such meetings will go some way to restoring our democracy.
Brief description of Orders of Continuing Effect: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Chamber_documents/Senate_chamber_documents/standingorders/d00
Media Contact: Lauren Gillin 0419 626 725