November 13, 2023 2 min read


Australian Bill Seeks to Make Lobbying More Transparent

If the Kooyong MP’s bill passes, ministers’ diaries would be kept transparent

Australian crossbenchers are not amused by Michelle Rowland’s birthday launch with gambling lobbyists last November. The launch was revealed by a report, causing immediate backlash and calls for more transparency in Australian politics.

As reported by The Guardian, Kooyong MP Monique Ryan took this call a step further and introduced a bill that seeks to introduce stricter rules on lobbying. Her goal is to make ministers’ activities more visible to the public and to increase the transparency around lobbying.

According to Ryan, the launch fails to pass the “sniff test.” When Rowland’s representatives pointed out that the launch violated no rules, Ryan noted that this was exactly the problem.

The Kooyong MP slammed the existing lobbying rules as “toothless and ineffective” and emphasized the need to clean up politics. Under the #CleanUpPoliticsAct hashtag, Ryan promoted her bill and urged Australians to not tolerate under-the-table gift-giving.   

If the Kooyong MP’s bill passes, ministers’ diaries would be kept transparent, allowing everyone to see their activities.

The Birthday Launch Breached No Laws

The lavish launch in question saw Rowland treated by Responsible Wagering Australia at one of the private dining rooms of Society restaurant. Officially labeled as a policy briefing, the launch saw Rowland meet up with a group representing the interests of major gambling operators.

Despite everything, a representative for the minister pointed out that the launch complied with all relevant guidelines for declarations and travel. In addition, the spokesperson pointed out that Rowland is firmly committed to preventing gambling harm in the country.

Still, Ryan argues that if her bill is passed, it would prevent such launches. Ryan is not the only one who criticized Rowland’s launch with Responsible Wagering Australia either. The Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young slammed Rowland’s birthday launch which took place as the government continues to “drag its feet” on gambling reforms.

Hanson-Young asked Rowland to take her job of holding the gambling industry accountable more seriously. She said that Rowland’s launch was “not a good look” and implied that the MP “knows it.”

In the meantime, Victorian poker clubs were accused of exploiting the state’s tax cuts and spending gambling profits on themselves, labeling them as “community benefit.” In the meantime, they only spent $23,000 beyond what the law requires on gambling harm prevention measures and tools.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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