Statesman Institute catch-up with lobbying reform advocate Tony Abbott

Statesman Institute CEO, Mr Mark Smith and Hon Tony Abbott MP

Statesman Institute (Si) welcomed the opportunity to engage with former Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Mr Abbott has consistently raised concerns with third party lobbying and most recently contributed to the ABC 4 Corners program. That program demonstrated the risks for business leaders where client lists were broadcast to a national TV audience.

Decreasing the influence of lobbyists has been a long-term cause for Mr Abbott.

At his first cabinet meeting after being elected in September 2013, Mr Abbott banned registered lobbyists from holding party office, commenting that:

“I’m determined to ensure you can either be a powerbroker or a lobbyist but you can’t be both.”

The anomaly of the client registration process for lobbyists means that it does not capture the activities of lawyers, bankers and other professional service providers who are essentially doing the same work, advocating on behalf of their paying client. The registration process does not capture, in-house government relations and corporate affairs executives at a Federal level and only in Victoria at a State level.

Si has been established in this context, the first dedicated network of Australian government and political subject matter experts, signalling a shift in the knowledge sharing economy. Servicing the demand for direct advice to inform efficient corporate decision making and strategy development.

Business has an ongoing need to understand government. It is complex and always changing.

Si CEO, Mark Smith commented that,

“Statesman Institute is a house of experts and a knowledge sharing platform.”

“In a nutshell we bring professionals together.”

“Statesman Institute is today’s model for preparing business leaders to engage with government. Empowering executives to advocate for themselves.”

“Statesman Institute  is about hand-holding not door-opening.”

“Business leaders are always the best advocate for their own organisations. Si ensures that they leave no stone unturned in their preparation.”

“It reflects a growing trend in government relations for business leaders who prefer to engage a secret weapon, rather than a hired gun.”

“There is ongoing pressure on business leaders to remain informed and act swiftly, but prudently.”

“Our experts have had exposure to key economic portfolios and executive government, they understand how decisions are made.”

“Many of these people changed Australia, for the better, and they continue to do so.”

Si enables fast access to high level advice and the ability for business to act promptly and continually pivot and reassess their strategy and approach.

Clients set the agenda and pick expert minds to inform decision making, understand Government, evaluate long-term investments, uncover trends, analyse developments, monitor emerging markets, manage and mitigate risk and develop strategy. This experience provides clients with deep experience from the best minds in the nation.

Si is assisting business leaders to make better, informed decisions by engaging directly with former Commonwealth and State Government Ministers, State Premiers, Department Secretaries, Ambassadors, Diplomats, Regulatory Leaders and advisers to Australian Prime Ministers.

Si boasts unmatched experience in national economic policy reform and effective methods to influence public policy decision makers. Understanding the key players and how to influence opinion is critical.

Si complements existing government relations services, in-house government relations and corporate affairs executives and like other professional service providers such as lawyers and bankers, does not require registration on public registers.

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