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Estimates: Questioning the Premier about meeting lobbyists and developers

During Parliamentary Budget Estimates on Tuesday 26 July 2022, I asked the Premier about her meeting with developer Lang Walker and lobbyist Graham Richardson, and whether this should be considered and regulated as lobbying.

You can read the answers below or in the official Queensland Parliament Record of Proceedings (Hansard).

Mr BERKMAN: It was reported recently that you met with Lang Walker, the developer of the controversial Toondah Harbour proposal, and Graham Richardson in April of this year but that meeting was not recorded on the lobbyist register because, I understand the statement from your office said, no lobbying took place in that meeting.

CHAIR: Just be careful you are not straying into making a speech. Could you put the question please?

Mr BERKMAN: Certainly, Chair. Where do you draw the line in a meeting like that between what is and what is not lobbying? What steps can you take to ensure that no lobbying takes place with key stakeholders like that?

Ms PALASZCZUK: I met with Mr Walker who wanted to give me an update on his investments in Queensland and the fact that he desires to make more investments in Queensland. It was an update on his property portfolio and the fact that if he invests more in Queensland it means more jobs for Queenslanders.

Mr BERKMAN: Is it the case then that you would anticipate under any future reforms around the regulation of lobbying in Queensland that that kind of non-lobbying interaction with key stakeholders would continue to be allowed?

Ms PALASZCZUK: That was just an overview of his property portfolio in Queensland. There was no lobbying that took place. He was not asking me to do anything at all.

Mr BERKMAN: The question was though that you do not anticipate—

Ms PALASZCZUK: The guidelines are very clear.

CHAIR: Member for Maiwar, the Premier is giving her answer. Can you let the Premier continue before you continue. I am giving you some leeway here.

Mr BERKMAN: Of course. I thought she had finished—my apologies.

Ms PALASZCZUK: I have answered the question.

Mr BERKMAN: Just to clarify that answer: there is no intention in any upcoming reforms to restrict that kind of non-lobbying engagement as you have described it?

Ms PALASZCZUK: The reason you know the meeting took place is I put it in my diary. It is being transparent me putting it in my diary that I had that meeting.

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