Parliament special list now just 44
The Speaker of the House wants to make access to Parliament as seamless as possible and says it’s not his job to police lobbyists’ movements.
Trevor Mallard has reviewed the list of approved visitors. It mainly consists of lobbyists, with some MPs’ spouses, party members and union representatives.
The 93 approved visitors had been cut to 44, mainly because many no longer needed access, or could not be contacted.
Mallard said there were two levels of security clearance – the first level got the cardholders past security into the parliamentary precinct.
The second level allowed some visitors, who were regular attendees at caucus meetings, to gain access to the leaders’ offices and caucus rooms.
‘‘The essence, for me, of the rules go back to keeping people safe, and it’s not my job to facilitate lobbying, but it’s also not my job to to stop it.’’
As far as Mallard was aware, there had not been any instances where access had been abused. If that was the case, the visitor would lose access, and any future requests by the MP responsible might not be granted.