I write in response to Fred Grady’s comments in the Goulburn Post (Dec 8) concerning an appointment he cancelled with me because he was required to identify his reason for meeting me in a disclosure form.
This requirement applies to all meetings and telephone calls ministers have so that the public knows who may have influenced a decision that a minister makes, or make as part of the Cabinet.
It is about the importance of trust in government arising out of ICAC recommendations for more political transparency and is an anti-corruption measure.
As a result, I publish my diaries regularly, along with all members of Cabinet.
I have, for example, declared all meetings I held in Spain on matters relevant to NSW Government activity. I note that the ALP refuses to do the same.
I doubt anyone wants to go back to the bad old days when governments made decisions to favour interest groups in exchange for donations, friends or family without the public having any inkling of those influences.
Yes, hundreds of people lobby me each year in my electorate office and sign the form. That’s democracy.
Lobbyists, however, are professional, paid people who lobby for a client’s commercial interests, not their own.
The NSW Liberal Nationals has quite correctly required these people to declare their position in any dealings they have with the NSW Government.
I look forward to seeing Fred again.