Coal lobbyists ‘wrote cabinet briefings’

“A former Liberal Party insider claims coal industry lobbyists have infiltrated the inner workings of the federal government, even writing cabinet briefing papers.

The claim, aired on Monday night’s ABC Four Corners program, coincides with allegations by three former senior CSIRO scientists they had been silenced on climate change issues that conflicted with government policy.

The government denies any cabinet submissions or briefings have been drafted by industry members.

Former Liberal Party staffer and industry lobbyist Dr Guy Pearse said that for his PhD he conducted extensive interviews with coal industry lobbyists, some of whom called themselves the greenhouse mafia.

Dr Pearse at one time worked for former environment minister Robert Hill.

He said several lobbyists had admitted writing cabinet briefings, which are usually sourced in government departments.

‘So you ended up with this unique situation, a circular situation where the advice that the government was receiving from its bureaucrats was almost identical to the advice they were receiving from industry associations because, effectively, the same people were writing it,’ Dr Pearse told the program.

Asked if that meant writing cabinet documents, Dr Pearse replied:

‘That’s clear in some of the comments they made to me.

‘A number of interviewees confirmed that this went on and a few of them even went on record claiming particular instances of where they helped to write briefs, costings, cabinet submissions.’”






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