ICAC asks ministers to disclose details on how they deal with Lobbyists

IT would seem appropriate for ‘the ICAC Letter’ to have been forwarded to all those MPs who have acted in the role of Planning Minister in NSW from 2011 to date … in that the developer lobby organisations of the Property Council of Australia, Urban Taskforce and others have exerted enormous influence resulting in Planning Law changes for not only rezoning for higher density of high-rise residential but …

-exempt and complying development

-strata law changes

-the medium-density housing code

-the Greenfields Housing Code (200M2 X 6M wide lots)

-Planning Ministerial Corporation

-so called Independent Hearing Assessment Panels

December 2017 … The Greens called for Political Donation Reform after a look at Minister Roberts’ Diary!

NSW PLANNING MINISTER, Anthony Roberts met with 53 PROPERTY DEVELOPERS or property interest groups between January and September in 2017


SEARCH CAAN WEBSITE for more articles on Lobbyists including:

There are Registered LOBBYISTS and then there’s these guys…


The Dark Art of Lobbying: Looking at the Who, What, and Why of Lobbyists


Time to Out Lobbyists who Fly under the Radar


Real Estate Lobbyists help Deliver Win for Coalition 



Australian Government: Register of Lobbyists

Chinese property developers turn to Liberal lobbyists amid ICAC storm



ICAC asks ministers to disclose details on how they deal with lobbyists

Kylar Loussikian
By Kylar Loussikian

January 16, 2020

The state’s corruption watchdog has written to Berejiklian government ministers requiring them to disclose details about how they interact with paid political lobbyists.

The correspondence, sent over the holiday period, is part of the Independent Commission Against Corruption’s Operation Eclipse investigation into the regulation of lobbying, access and influence.

NSW Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello is understood to be one of the ministers to receive the ICAC letter.
NSW Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello is understood to be one of the ministers to receive the ICAC letter.CREDIT:NICK MOIR

*Gladys Berejiklian’s office declined to comment on how many ministers had been contacted by the ICAC and whether a request for information had also been received by the Premier’s office. *

“It would not be appropriate for the NSW government to comment on active ICAC investigations,” her spokeswoman said. “All questions regarding the investigation should be directed to ICAC.”

Government sources who were not permitted to speak on the record confirmed the letters required ministerial offices to disclose various details about how lobbyists are managed.

The letters also request details about how the meetings are organised.

John Sidoti has stood aside as sports minister pending an ICAC inquiry.
John Sidoti has stood aside as sports minister pending an ICAC inquiry.CREDIT:NICK MOIR

The Herald understands letters from ICAC have been received by Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello, Energy Minister Matt Kean and Skills Minister Geoff Lee, among others.

The letters were part of a “fact-finding exercise”, one source said.

The ICAC is already investigating Liberal MP John Sidotiwho stood aside from Cabinet in September pending the outcome of that inquiry, over allegations he used knowledge of proposed public transport developments to inform property purchases.

Mr Sidoti has denied all wrongdoing.

The ICAC launched Operation Eclipse last April, investigating whether there is adequate disclosure of lobbying activities and whether current regulations are working.

“Other than some instances where third-party lobbyists may have failed to update relevant documentation, no lobbyist has been suspended or placed on the watch list,” an interim Operation Eclipse report, released by the ICAC in October, noted.

“This may suggest that the current regulatory system is not effectively identifying and managing problematic lobbying practices or promoting transparency, integrity and honesty as per the stated purpose of the [lobbyist code of conduct].” *


NSW Multiculturalism Minister John Sidoti at a budget estimates hearing.

John Sidoti surrenders minister pay months into ICAC investigation

The interim report also noted that while it was an offence for a former minister to lobby a bureaucrat on a matter they had responsibility for within 18 months of holding the office, there had been “no prosecutions … nor have there been any relevant findings of corrupt conduct in NSW”.

A number of senior Coalition and Labor figures have departed Parliament to work in political lobbying, including former Liberal leaders Peter Collins and Kerry Chikarovski, as well as former premier Nathan Rees and former public industries minister Katrina Hodgkinson.

Recently departed police minister Troy Grant is consulting for Deloitte on cyber-security — but has told Parliamentary Ethics Advisor John Evans he will not be lobbying the government.

However, Operation Eclipse is not targeting specific allegations of corruption.

An ICAC spokeswoman declined to comment on Thursday.

The commission last investigated influence and access in the 2010 Operation Halifax inquiry, which made a number of recommendations including requiring political consultants to disclose when they and who they lobbied and for which client. It also recommended banning lobbyist success fees.

While some recommendations were adopted, several were not.

Kylar Loussikian

Kylar Loussikian is The Sydney Morning Herald’s CBD columnist.

SOURCE: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/icac-asks-ministers-to-disclose-details-on-how-they-deal-with-lobbyists-20200116-p53s59.html?fbclid=IwAR0G6P4PNll-CTDRpGJ3AJshDlePkwxo7XKiP8gdN3x2OAYGdLLYWmNodcI