Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s anticipated move from politics to lobbying exemplifies a concerning trend in Australian politics, where public officials transition to roles representing corporate interests. Morrison’s reported upcoming role with a British defense company, following his significant push for increased military spending, illustrates his focus on personal gain over national interest.

These transitions are symptomatic of the broader issue of lobbying’s impact on democracy, with nearly 1,800 lobbyists holding passes granting full access to Parliament House. Alarmingly, no register exists tracking these passes or their sponsoring politicians. The Centre for Public Integrity stresses the need for enforceable legislation around lobbying, including criminal penalties for breaches and transparency through the publication of ministerial diaries and meetings with lobbyists.

The Centre’s recent report highlights a series of former ministers now working as lobbyists, and staff members transitioning to lobbying roles shortly after leaving office. This revolving door between public service and private sector lobbying paints a bleak picture of the Australian political landscape, marked by corruption, opportunism, and self-interest.

Read the full Saturday Paper editorial here.