1. David Hatt

2. Sean Walsh

3. Kieran Murphy

4. John Halden

5. John McGlue

6. Neil Roberts

7. John Poynton

8. Malcolm McCusker QC

LARGELY, this is a political zone, although some private consultants only play a small role in influencing government.

David Hatt has come back to prominence with the return of Labor and now heads the Government’s strategy coordination unit.

This gives him access to the most powerful policy makers in the State, including Premier Geoff Gallop and the directors of key Government departments.

Others working in Premier and Cabinet are chief of staff Sean Walsh and press secretary Kieran Murphy, helping to form the views and shape of the policy lines coming out of the most powerful office in the State.

Former Labor state secretary John Halden is a key lobbyist to those wanting the Government’s ear.

Before leaving the Party he helped get the local Labor organisation back onto an even financial keel and to win Government.

After Labor won the State election he established the WA office of national lobbying and public relations firm CPR.

John McGlue has only dabbled in politics directly but his media work (he is a columnist for The Australian and has a regular business segment on ABC radio) combined with advising AlintaGas amonga host of other corporates gives him rare influence in the private sector.

Neil Roberts is treasurer for the WA Labor Party and State Development, Tourism and Small Business Minister Clive Brown’s chief of staff.

John Poynton is a leading businessman in his own right, but it is his role as adviser to so many leading organisations and corporate players that places him on our list.

The former executive chairman of what is now known as Hartley’s established one of Australia’s most successful boutique investment banks Poynton and Partners about five years ago. He sits on a number of high-profile boards.

Top barrister Malcolm McCusker QC often acts for the Liberal Party.

He is also in the spotlight at the moment with the reignition of the Mickelberg case, following an affidavit by former police officer Tony Lewandowski that the Perth Mint Swindle case against the Mickelberg brothers was trumped up. Mr McCusker has been acting pro bono for the Mickelberg brothers for the past 15 years.

He is also involved with a foundation that is trying to find a cure for Alzheimers disease.

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