NSW Liberals top heavy with lobbyists

THE NSW State Executive has long been controlled by the "centre left" faction, which was heavily influenced by former state minister Michael Photios.

He and fellow lobbyist Joe Tannous both recently resigned from the State Executive after Prime Minister Tony Abbott banned registered lobbyists from being in party positions.

The push for real democratic reform of the NSW Liberal Party was being led by former federal minister Ross Cameron and long-time Liberal John Ruddick.

Speaking on the ABC's 7.30 recently, Mr Ruddick said the ban on lobbyists should go further.

"People who are registered lobbyists have now resigned, but there is a significant group of people who are in-house lobbyists, and if these reforms that I am proposing come in, they wouldn't be able to serve," he said.

Mr Ruddick has since been threatened with a five-year suspension from the party for speaking publicly on internal party matters.

At the last state executive election, 10 out of 16 successful candidates were lobbyists.

Party president Chris Downy, meanwhile, was chief executive officer of the Australian Wagering Council, an online gambling lobby group.

"What we are seeing is the Liberal Party being turned into a life-support system for the lobbying industry. I didn't sign up for that," Mr Cameron told the ABC.

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