Prominent Liberal-linked lobbying firm Crosby Textor Research Strategies Results has managed to avoid joining the Federal Lobbyists Register until after the September election due to a major loophole in the federal lobbying law.
Once a Liberal-National government was back in power CT knew the work would flow in and it was time to get on the Register.
Numerous news reports refer to lobbying operations carried out by Crosby Textor. The company has been listed on the NSW state lobbyist register at least since 2011, while the WA state register also lists the company as a lobbyist for a number of clients.
Until mid-September 2013, however, Crosby Textor was nowhere to be seen on the federal register.
Crosby Textor is absent from the list downloaded on 20 September, but popped up on 25 September with twenty clients, shortly after the Liberal Party (with whom Crosby Textor is closely connected) was elected to government at the 2013 federal election.
When queried on this, staff at the Federal Register confirmed that Crosby Textor’s application was only received in September but were “not otherwise in a position to comment” on the apparent discrepancy.
As Crikey revealed last week, these clients include the Australia Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA), the peak industry group for mining companies. Among other issues, the APPEA is responsible for public relations for the controversial coal seam gas industry.
Crosby Textor has been able to avoid registering as a lobbyist until now because of a loophole in the lobbyist register laws. Those who seek to influence politicians outside of the government are not required to register and list their clients.
I’ve previously raised concerns about how our weak lobbyist laws allow companies to engage in a large amount of lobbying without being registered.