Lobbying is a necessary component of representative democracy, yet poses one of its greatest threats.
Interest groups must be free to have a say. But the disproportionate influence of a few over many serves to seriously undermine democratic ideals, and comes at great cost to the taxpayer.
Given its importance, lobbying is an area that requires thoughtful laws that ensure as much transparency as possible, and prevent officials from abusing their power. In Australia, such laws are inadequate or missing. But other countries have taken important steps, and Australia can learn from their efforts.