Time to put the community first and crackdown on lobbyists

Hear more from the Greens in the Canberra Times and City News coverage of this story.

The ACT Greens have released its Better Government plan to clean up politics, crackdown on lobbyists in the ACT, put people back at the centre of government decisions and put the community first.

“In NSW, ICAC has exposed the revolving door between developers, big business and politics. People are appalled that it is still going on, and we should not assume that we are immune here in the ACT" said democracy spokesperson Indra Esguerra.

“The ACT Legislative Assembly should serve the best interests of all Canberrans which means that money and wealth should not be able to buy political power, and the meetings between lobbyists and other vested interest groups should be transparent.

“Big corporate interests shouldn’t get more of a say than the community. That's why the Greens will expand the ACT Register of Lobbyists and its Code to include people who are lobbying on behalf of their corporate employers, who are clearly in a position to influence policy.

“The footprint that lobbyists leave should be clear for all to see. That's why we will require six monthly disclosures of what lobbying occurred, when it happened, who stood to benefit, who was lobbied and the subject of the lobbying.

“The ACT Greens have committed to establishing an ACT Integrity Commission which will be empowered to investigate complaints about lobbyists and the MLAs they meet with.

“Today’s ‘Better Government’ package builds on the ACT Greens' nation-leading Freedom Of Information laws, which makes information about ministerial appointments and travel openly available to the public.

“This goes hand in hand with our plan to ban developer donations and stop corporate money from influencing politics. Nobody should be able to buy their way into decisions that affect the whole community

“Canberrans want, and deserve, to have their voices heard in the Legislative Assembly. The ACT Greens believe in making decisions with the community, for the community which is why we will require that any community petition that receives 500 or more signatures from residents in the ACT to be debated on the floor of the Legislative Assembly.”

“Putting the community first means making sure decisions are made with the community and in the best interests of the community – and so far, it’s only the Greens who are committed to doing that,” said Ms Esguerra.

Click here to download the initiative.