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  • Writer's pictureAlistair Nicholas

Crossbenchers rule – so include them in your government relations strategy

A recent poll has shown that crossbenchers will continue to hold the balance of power in the Senate after the next Federal election. That means senators from the Greens, Pauline Hanson's One Nation, Centre Alliance and the

Jacqui Lambie Network will continue to play a pivotal role in determining the nation’s policies and legislation after the next Federal election and regardless of whether the Coalition or Labor win government, according to the poll.

In these circumstances companies and other organisations who neglect crossbenchers in their lobbying strategies place themselves at a disadvantage in the determination of policies and laws that could impact their industries.

The poll, conducted by The Australia Institute think tank was reported by today’s Australian Financial Review. It showed that neither the Coalition nor the Australian Labor Party would have the 39 seats necessary to pass legislation in the Senate if opposed by the other. The poll indicated that the Coalition would only have between 34 and 36 seats in the Senate after the next election, while Labor would only have between 26 and 28 seats even if it were to win government. That means whichever party wins government in the lower house, it will still need the support of several crossbenchers (and possibly all in the case of Labor) in the Senate to pass legislation.

For organisations seeking to influence government policies and legislation it means they cannot restrict their lobbying efforts to the party in government and the party in opposition. They need to also factor in the crossbenchers. In this respect it is vital they do not work only with lobbying firms aligned with the Coalition or Labor. They need to work with non-aligned government relations firms that have a track record of engaging with crossbenchers to effect policy and legislation.

For a confidential discussion of how Alistair Nicholas Consulting can assist in developing and executing government relations strategies that include engagement with crossbenchers please contact Alistair Nicholas on 0419 290 578 or via email at


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