Lobby groups/Australia

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The lobbying industry is a significant force in Australian politics.

In 2006 according to Julian Fitzgerald Lobbying in Australia the 150 national lobby groups analysed had a total budget of $713,793,364, an average of $6.26 million for the 114 that made the figures available to the public. The statistics reveal that in Australia, lobbying is an industry that is growing at three times the rate of inflation and is spending well over $1 billion per year, the 150 lobby groups employ more than 260 public relations officers, and have a staff of 2,431.Lobbying in Australia: You Can’t Expect Anything to Change if You Don’t Speak Up! Rosenberg Publishing 2006

Most of the principle staff in Australia's professional lobby firms have previously worked for federal or state politicians. Some are former politicians themselves. And, as the case of one Hawker Britton consultant who has just been appointed to Hurstville council demonstrates, some may still be at it.

The fact that a consultant has just walked out of a politician's revolving door is often used by lobby firms as a selling point to their clients, as it is seen as a good way of ensuring access to and 'relationships' with the decision-makers they are paid to influence.

If that doesn't work there are other ways of making friends - advocacy and lobby groups made a total of $412,730 in donations to federal political parties in the 2003/4 financial year, and donated another $477,898 in NSW. [1]

The line between an industry peak body and an industry lobby group can be hard to distinguish, and it's also hard to tell the difference between a Public relations firm and a lobby group. Many of the PR firms listed on Public relations firms/Australia practice 'government relations', 'issues management', and various other euphemisms for the business of influence-peddling.

This page lists a few of the Australian groups that focus more on lobbying than PR.

Professional lobbyists

Industry lobby groups

Other lobby groups

Front groups

Others

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