Qld Govt ICT lobbyists exposed

Qld Govt ICT lobbyists exposed

Summary: eBay, Cisco, SAP and Oracle are amongst a number of technology companies that have paid former politicians and others to try to influence the Queensland Government, the state's new lobbyist register revealed this week.


eBay, Cisco, SAP and Oracle are amongst a number of technology companies that have paid former politicians and others to try to influence the Queensland Government, the state's new lobbyist register revealed this week.

The lobby list, a key Bligh election promise to improve the transparency of lobbyists' impact on government decision-making, revealed three key players: Enhance Corporate, Hawker Britton, and Government Relations Australia.

Under the new laws recommended by Queensland's Crime and Misconduct Commission, current politicians are prevented from speaking to lobbyists not on the list, while former politicians are prevented from joining it for between 18 months to two years, depending on the rank of the official.

Enhance, which is part-owned by former Beattie Government Deputy Queensland Premier, Jim Elder, is currently paid to represent Cisco, and ERP vendor Mincom. It has also represented Novell in the past 12 months.

Enhance managing director and Jim Elder's business partner Terry Kempnich, a former member of the Goss Government, told ZDNet.com.au that technology companies used its service to communicate their technologies' capabilities to government, and to hear from decision makers what their priorities are.


Terry Kempnich, MD Enhance
(Credit: Enhance)

"The Queensland Government just went to an election and articulated a whole range of public policy, across health, policing and infrastructure," said Kempnich. "The IT industry is across every single one of those sectors and they will want to know where they fit in."

Kempnich agreed that public perception of the persuasion trade was negative, but that it was a legitimate service that required rare knowledge.

"It's unfortunate that it is that way, but the business of government is a complex one and the people [we] employ are those with years of experience working with and in government, such as in policy development. They're all legitimate skills that are very difficult to translate," he said.

Hawker Britton, another big player in Queensland's ICT industry, which is owned by former Carr Government Chief of Staff Bruce Hawker, is paid to represent Telstra-owned Sensis, Oracle and Telstra. It has also represented IBA Health, Logica, Queensland-based software company TechnologyOne and Unisys in the past year.

Government Relations Australia, another large player, partly owned by former Hawke and Keating government minister, John Dawkins, currently lobbies the Queensland Government on behalf of eBay, SAP and Singtel Optus.

Western Australian ISP iiNet has apparently also been lobbying the Queensland Government via Sydney-based firm Springboard Australia, run by yet another Goss Government staffer, Timothy Grau.

The list follows a similar one put forward under the Rudd Government shortly after it was elected.

Topics: SAP, Cisco, E-Commerce, Government, Government AU, Networking, Oracle

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • QLD Politicians taking hand-outs - NEVER!

    I can not believe my ears that QLD politicians are taking hand-outs. I have met a few in my time and have come to know well how some of the old-school politicians of Queensland operate. Nothing gets done without a long paid for lunch to start with.

    Who would think that QLD Politicians would not treat public enterprise business relationships equally and fairly? Next thing you will be telling us is that Greg Rudd (Kevin's brother) uses his brothers popularity and connections for his own financial gain.

    There even ex- party officials in QLD that I know that use an extended truth of their popularity for their own gain and try in vain not to be put in front of those that really dont know who they are. Apparently that is the way they do business in QLD and ex-party or politician status is the only thing that gets your foot in the door to start with (or should I say cheque book in the door).

  • British Pounds?

    Shouldn't they be paying in Australian dollars??? Come on zdnet - at least use an image with our money in it!