colourful reflection of Canberra's new parliament building in a fontain pond at sunset.

How to strengthen the integrity of Australian politics

by Danielle Wood and Kate Griffiths

The ‘revolving door’ between politics and lobbying roles is a growing challenge in Australia.

In theory, Australia imposes restrictions on post-ministerial employment: when someone becomes a federal minister, they must commit to waiting at least 18 months after their ministerial duties cease before lobbying on any issue they were officially involved with in their final 18 months in office.

But in practice, the current restrictions are unenforceable, because the Prime Minister retains the discretion to determine a breach and there are no practical sanctions. As Grattan’s Danielle Wood and Kate Griffiths show in this submission to a Senate committee, there are many examples of former ministers moving into lobbying roles related to their former portfolio within the 18-month period without sanction.

Effective revolving door restrictions would help to reduce the likelihood (both actual and perceived) of individuals and organisations ‘buying’ influence in Australian politics. And the restrictions should be supported by broader integrity reforms to improve transparency and accountability in policy making and reduce undue influence over public policy.

Read our Who’s in the room? report

Read our Crisis of trust report

Download the submission