Dealing with Australian State and Federal Governments – Understanding the policy-making process
This week, Lander & Rogers hosted the Sydney branch of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) and its members for a government-focused session tailored to Japanese companies with permanent operations in Australia.
The presenters, led by seminar host the Hon. Andrew Thomson, a former Howard Government Minister and Lander & Rogers' man on the ground in Japan, spoke about Australia's state and federal governments, understanding the policy-making process, and strategies for Japanese companies to adopt when dealing with government at both a state and federal level.
Speaking about the structure of Australian politics, Mr Thomson said that issues of greatest concern to the Japanese companies attending the seminar was Australia's current energy policy. "Large Japanese companies operating in Australia are puzzled by the lack of coordination between federal and state government in Australia regarding provision of reliable and cost-effective energy," he said.
Head of the firm's Japan Client Group and Sector Leader - Energy & Resources, Deanna Constable, said, "Japanese entities have had a long history of doing business in Australia, but the atypical political instability in the last decade has made it harder to build a government business strategy with confidence. Through the panel's experience and Lander & Rogers' own experience we were able to identify strategies which are more suited to today's political environment."
David Cox, former senior ministerial advisor to the Federal Labor Government and former Federal Labor MP himself, offered wide ranging advice about corporate conduct in dealing with governments.
Former senior advisor to Federal Liberal ministers, Richard Shields, emphasised that companies should be careful to deal with both sides of any parliament because changes of government and leadership can, in the current political environment, happen relatively frequently.
Lander & Rogers partner Ian Gordon provided two case studies about the way in which foreign companies have sought to engage with Australian government and the learnings from this.
Ms Constable said, "Lander & Rogers has partnered with the JCCI in both Sydney and Melbourne to host and/or deliver a range of targeted events for Japanese companies doing business in Australia.
"Through our people and connections, we are able to offer speakers who can give relevant and practical insights into the workings of all levels of Australian government, and offer tailored advice for Japanese companies doing business in Australia on how to approach dealing with government.
"It was a great event and we were delighted to host the Sydney branch of the JCCI and its members."
Deanna Constable - Head of Lander & Rogers' Japan L-R: The Hon. Andrew Thomson, Of Counsel and Ian Gordon,
Client Group and Sector Leader - Energy & Resources Partner - Property, Projects & Infrastructure