Watch the Lobbyists…they move first

Julia Gillard and Labor are stuffed in Australia, even the lobbyists have abandoned them. Julia Gillard is becoming Julia No mates.

Political lobby groups have deserted Labor and are flocking to the opposition while preparing for an expected change of government in September.

Labor-aligned firms are downsizing and those more associated with the Coalition are expanding, but even organisations that walk the middle ground have stopped knocking on the government’s door.

”There is nothing in it for us now to be in the government’s ear and in front of ministers and their staff on behalf of our clients,” one lobbying firm executive said.

”They’re not going to be in government much longer so our focus has changed. There is still a little bit of tokenistic representation to Labor, but really we don’t put much effort into it.”

Fairfax Media has spent the past week speaking to many lobbyists, representing a significant cross-section of the industry.

All said they are no longer trying to influence Labor.

And while the government did not wish to comment, other Labor sources have confirmed that lobbyists have largely stopped calling.

Most lobbyists would only talk on the condition of anonymity because, as one executive from a neutral firm put it: ”We don’t criticise the government on the record. Even those companies that are aligned to the Coalition won’t publicly bag out this Labor government because the Liberals would regard that as poor form from a lobbyist and they might be suspicious of that firm once they are in office.”

Lobbyists are clear about where they are focusing their attention – and it is not with the government.

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