Hawker Britton

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Hawker Britton is a lobby firm closely aligned with the Australian Labor Party. It was founded in 1997 by Bruce Hawker, former Chief of Staff for the former NSW Premier Bob Carr, and David Britton, Carr's former media advisor. Hawker has worked on every state and federal Labor election campaign since his lobby firm was established. [1]

The company describes its services as:

  • "high-level strategic advice on all areas of government decision making - including policy, political, regulatory, media, parliamentary and administrative decisions
  • advice on government procurement processes - including tenders and direct negotiations
  • assistance with development proposals and approvals
  • unrivalled experience in infrastructure and public-private partnerships" [2]


Hawker Britton's website states that it has worked with clients from the following industries: Telecommunications, IT, Financial Services, Investment Banking, Insurance, Legal, Media, Entertainment, Infrastructure Development, Transport, Mining and Resources, Public Works and Services, Utilities, Energy, Medical Services, Environmental technology, Catering Services, Sporting and Leisure Clubs, Defence, Recycling.

The company does not include a list of clients on its website, but known clients include James Hardie Industries [3], and the developer behind the Mogo charcoal plant on the South Coast.

In May 2002 NSW planning minister Andrew Refshauge approved the charcoal plant, which faced fierce opposition from the local community. In parliament later that year the Liberal member for Davidson Andrew Humpherson said that Hawker Britton had played a role in Refshauge's decision: "What influenced the Minister? Bruce Hawker and David Britton, former staff members of the Premier, and the lobbyists behind that development, had access to the Premier's office and to the office of the Minister. That development was subsequently approved." [4]

Former spin-doctor Stephen Mayne of Crikey wrote in 2000 "Hawker Britton have a blue chip list of corporate clients because there is no more effective door opener in NSW...Hawker Britton rightly claim that they don't do much work for government - they work for the wide-eyed corporates trying to get regulatory and policy favours out of government."

"They charge like wounded bulls but are said to be extremely effective. The Registered Clubs Association paid them merely not to act for the NSW Hotels Association when the Carr government was turning NSW into the pokies capital of the world back in 1998." [5]

Hawker Britton & the Mining & Energy Industries

In June 2008, concerns were raised about Hawker Britton providing strategic advice to Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's office on climate change issues, at the same time as being a paid lobbyist for a number of energy and mining companies which would lose out from a strong emissions trading scheme, including:


The list of Hawker-Britton staff members reads like a Who's Who of the Labor Party, and the company has been described as "a virtual back office for the ALP". [6]

Former personnel

  • Graham Wederbern, subsequently Bob Carr's Chief of Staff.
  • Co-founder David Britton, who left the firm in early 2005 to take up a job as communications director for the Fred Hollows Foundation.

Political donations

Hawker-Britton gave a total of $17,000 to state and federal Labor parties in the 2003/04 financial year. [11]

Contact Details

Level 1,
71 York Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: 02 9279 0200
Fax: 02 9279 0211
Web: http://www.hawkerbritton.com/index.htm

External links