BISHOP AND PYNE FACE QUESTIONING TODAY – GREENS PUSH FOR STRONGER MINISTERIAL CODES OF CONDUCT

Former senior Liberal cabinet members Julie Bishop and Christopher Pyne will give evidence today at a Senate inquiry into their compliance with ministerial standards.

Greens Co-deputy Leader Larissa Waters said democracy is under threat when ministers can retire from politics and head straight into the arms of big corporations in industries they once regulated.

“The Liberal leadership has shown more interest in enforcing the ‘bonk ban’ between politicians and their staff rather than stopping our community being screwed over by vested corporate interests,” she said today.

“Prime Minister Scott Morrison has done nothing to stop former Ministers exiting through the Canberra revolving door into lucrative positions with industries they were only months earlier responsible for keeping in check.

“The buck stops with the Prime Minister, he sets the culture for his team and he could end this toxic practice tomorrow by strengthening and actually enforcing the Ministerial Code of Conduct.

“Australians deserve parliamentarians that represent the people, not just deliver polices favourable to industry so they can line up jobs after politics.

“Ex-Minister hires are so attractive for corporates because of the expectation they will use use information, networks or influence gained during their public service to advantage their new employer – so the revolving door keeps spinning.

“Queensland is a breeding ground for the dangers of corporate cronyism. The latest example is Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s former strategy chief Evan Moorhead and former Labor party state secretary, who just became a corporate lobbyist for New Hope, big miners wanting approval to expand their controversial coal mine in South East Queensland.

“It’s no wonder the community thinks politicians are just in it for themselves. We need to clean up politics before people lose all hope of a democracy that works for them.

“To shut the revolving door we need new laws that stop former politicians from working in areas related to their portfolios for at least five years and a federal watchdog with teeth to make sure these standards are upheld,” Senator Waters said.

Background

Full Public Hearing Program and copy of submissions available here:

https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Finance_and_Public_Administration/MinisterialStandards/Public_Hearings

Former senior Liberal cabinet members Julie Bishop and Christopher Pyne will give evidence today at a Senate inquiry into their compliance with ministerial standards.

Former foreign minister Julie Bishop joined the board of international aid contractor Palladium after privatising foreign aid spending during her time in office. Former defence minister Christopher Pyne became a defence consultant for professional services company EY within weeks of leaving parliament.

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