Revolving Doors

Revolving Doors – Democracy at risk

The ‘Revolving Door’ series details the movement of Australian politicians, senior staffers and senior bureaucrats into the industry they oversaw and vice versa.

We are constantly updating this section with new stories exposing conduct contrary to good governance, conflicts of interest and too often rules being ignored and the individuals who flout them not being taken to task. Elected representatives leaving Parliament and going straight into roles as lobbyists, taking on lucrative consulting contracts or board positions, using their insights and contacts gained for public benefit to feather their own financial nests.

And then there is those that leave private employ entering public life to continue to further their own interests or those of their mates. The result is too often skewed policy making, contracts awarded for the wrong reasons, including public assets sold off to secretive consortia and without proper scrutiny.

The old adage of "it's not what you know, but who you know" seems to be the mantra as democracy suffers, money from the public purse - our money - is misdirected and redirected. Together with our Q.E.D. series - the case for a federal ICAC - we see our role as independent journalists to expose it for the public to see it for what it is - the corruption of our democracy.

If you have something, to add, please get in touch.

The ‘Revolving Door’ series details the movement of Australian politicians, senior staffers and senior bureaucrats into the industry they oversaw and vice versa.

We are constantly updating this section with new stories exposing conduct contrary to good governance, conflicts of interest and too often rules being ignored and the individuals who flout them not being taken to task. Elected representatives leaving Parliament and going straight into roles as lobbyists, taking on lucrative consulting contracts or board positions, using their insights and contacts gained for public benefit to feather their own financial nests.

And then there is those that leave private employ entering public life to continue to further their own interests or those of their mates. The result is too often skewed policy making, contracts awarded for the wrong reasons, including public assets sold off to secretive consortia and without proper scrutiny.

The old adage of "it's not what you know, but who you know" seems to be the mantra as democracy suffers, money from the public purse - our money - is misdirected and redirected. Together with our Q.E.D. series - the case for a federal ICAC - we see our role as independent journalists to expose it for the public to see it for what it is - the corruption of our democracy.

If you have something, to add, please get in touch.

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Revolving Doors feature stories

Health Warning: Alcohol industry can cause lifelong harm to your baby

Health Warning: Alcohol industry can cause lifelong harm to your baby

The alcohol industry’s peak lobby group Alcohol Beverages Australia has a powerful ally in the chairman of the ministerial forum on food regulation. Liberal MP Richard Colbeck has put forward similar arguments to the ABA to delay the adoption of stronger health warnings. Food ministers are due to vote next week on the issue, writes Luke Stacey.

Powerful and well-connected crowd out anti-gambling campaigners

Powerful and well-connected crowd out anti-gambling campaigners

Political donations, a policy of hiring former politicians and a proportion of the population addicted to gambling. It’s an insidious mix and hard to counter, as campaigners for transparency and accountability in gaming policy continually butt heads against the powerful and well-connected. Luke Stacey reports.

Revolving Doors: want a high-paid job at the bank? Become a politician

Revolving Doors: want a high-paid job at the bank? Become a politician

Australia’s banking sector is a haven for government ministers, prime ministers, state premiers and a slew of top bureaucrats. Our Revolving Doors investigation into this most mollycoddled of industries begins today. We expose, not those who have “taken the money and run”, but those who have run for the money.

Band of Brothers: Lockheed Martin and the Department of Defence

Band of Brothers: Lockheed Martin and the Department of Defence

After 28 years with Defence Science and Technology, on Friday, October 28, 2016, Dr Tony Lindsay, one of Australia’s most eminent defence scientists, said goodbye to DST. The following Tuesday, November 1, he started work with the world’s largest arms manufacturer, Lockheed Martin. Michelle Fahy reports on Australia’s revolving door between military and industry.

First item hidden

Revolving Doors feature stories

Health Warning: Alcohol industry can cause lifelong harm to your baby

Health Warning: Alcohol industry can cause lifelong harm to your baby

The alcohol industry’s peak lobby group Alcohol Beverages Australia has a powerful ally in the chairman of the ministerial forum on food regulation. Liberal MP Richard Colbeck has put forward similar arguments to the ABA to delay the adoption of stronger health warnings. Food ministers are due to vote next week on the issue, writes Luke Stacey.

Powerful and well-connected crowd out anti-gambling campaigners

Powerful and well-connected crowd out anti-gambling campaigners

Political donations, a policy of hiring former politicians and a proportion of the population addicted to gambling. It’s an insidious mix and hard to counter, as campaigners for transparency and accountability in gaming policy continually butt heads against the powerful and well-connected. Luke Stacey reports.

Revolving Doors contributors

Callum Foote

Editor – Revolving Doors


Callum Foote
Callum Foote is Editor Revolving Doors, a database which exposes the links between big business and Australian governments. These links deliver well-resourced private interests with significant influence over Australia’s policy-making process.

Callum has researched the impact of the revolving doors phenomenon via an honours degree in political science with the University of Sydney which examined the influence key players in Australia's financial services industry exert over government.

You can contact Callum by email.

Michelle Fahy

Contributing Editor


Michelle Fahy

Michelle has been researching and writing about complex subject areas since 1992 when she resigned from a corporate role in funds management and started writing for a variety of clients.

In 2010 Michelle cut ties with the corporate world entirely to focus on a subject of greater concern: the vast sums spent on defence and weaponry. She soon noticed the large number of staff rotating into jobs in military industrial corporations (weapons companies) from government, and the Australian Defence Force.

In 2018, she committed full time to researching and writing on this subject. 

You can contact Michelle by email.

Simone Marsh

Contributing Editor


Simone Marsh
Simone Marsh was the founding Editor of our Revolving Doors. She was an analyst with the Queensland Government for over a decade. Her work involved drafting sections of the Queensland Coordinator-General’s EIS evaluation report for the world’s first onshore unconventional gas to LNG projects.

In 2010, she blew the whistle on the environmental impact assessment of Australia's two biggest coal seam gas developments, saying the process was fundamentally flawed. Her story was featured on ABC’s Four Corners.

Simone holds degrees in Science, Education and Psychology.

Luke Stacey

Contributing Editor


Luke Stacey is a contributing researcher and editor for the Revolving Doors series on Michael West Media.

Luke studied journalism at University of Technology, Sydney, has worked in the film industry and studied screenwriting at the New York Film Academy.

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