Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

National Party President Larry Anthony runs a firm that lobbies for coal industry !

Nationals Interest: Larry Anthony, the party president who runs a lobbying firm, The Age, Patrick Begley, Mario Christodoulou, 30 Sept 17, 

A lobbying firm run by National Party president Larry Anthony is pushing the interests of energy firms as the Coalition grapples with looming gas shortfalls and bitter infighting over renewable energy policy.

Santos and Delta Electricity this year joined the client list of SAS Consulting Group, the government relations firm founded and co-owned by its executive director, Mr Anthony.

“Through our extensive networks we create powerful, purposeful connections for businesses and organisations,” the SAS Group website says.

The first line of Mr Anthony’s SAS Group biography refers to his presidency of the Nationals, “one half of the ruling Coalition government”.

A leading expert on lobbying said the party president’s absence from the public register of lobbyists “so undermines the intent of the lobbyist code of conduct as to make it nearly useless”………

After a federal conference debate moderated by Mr Joyce and Mr Anthony this month, the Nationals passed a motion urging the government to freeze and then phase out renewable energy subsidies…….

When he became party president in 2015, Mr Anthony was criticised for lobbying for the Shenhua Watermark mining project. At the time, he said he had removed himself from lobbyist registers and had no conflict of interest.

“We do a lot of things aside from government relations – media, communications, stakeholder relations, et cetera,” he said. “But executive director? Yes, I might have to come off that.”

Two years later, he remains an executive director.

The SAS Group website has promoted the fact Mr Anthony attended the Liberal National Party’s Queensland convention in July. Asked whether his party presidency helped to attract clients, Mr Anthony said: “I don’t know about that, but my name is synonymous with the National Party.”

His father, Doug, served as party leader from 1971 to 1984 and his grandfather, Larry snr, was a Country Party minister…….

The  lobbyist code of conduct prohibits lobbyists from being a member of a party executive. It also requires anyone who lobbies or employs lobbyists to register on a public database.

University of Melbourne politics lecturer George Rennie said even if Mr Anthony had not technically breached the code, his failure to appear as a registered lobbyist “so undermines the intent of the code, as to make it nearly useless”.

“Being a part-owner and director of a lobbying firm, while concurrently serving as president of the National Party, creates a clear conflict of interest,” Mr Rennie said……..

The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, which administers the lobbyist register, did not respond to specific questions about Mr Anthony but said in general it would investigate evidence or allegations of code breaches.

Do you know more? Email patrick.begley@fairfaxmedia.com.au  http://www.theage.com.au/nsw/nationals-interest-larry-anthony-the-party-president-who-runs-a-lobbying-firm-20170929-gyr9wx.html

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September 29, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, politics, secrets and lies

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