SYDNEY--Political veteran Matt Hingerty is to take charge of Barton Deakin, the Australian government relations firm owned by STW Group.

Hingerty's arrival sees Barton Deakin founder Peter Collins move to the position of executive chairman.

Hingerty joins Barton Deakin after serving as chief of staff to New South Wales government minister George Souris. During a 25-year career in federal and state politics and industry, Hingerty has held senior roles with the Australian Tourism Export Council and TTF Australia, and with the NSW Minerals Council.

Hingerty's political experience includes serving throughout the Greiner and Fahey governments, and for a period with then-Opposition Leader Peter Collins. He also worked as chief of staff to Joe Hockey, during the latter's stint as minister for tourism and small business in the Howard government.

While the NSW Government Lobbyist Code of Conduct places no restrictions on the lobbying activities of former government staff, according to Barton Deakin policy Hingerty will not conduct lobbying activities in his former area of responsibility for 12 months from the time he left government.

“I am particularly excited to be joining Barton Deakin at a time when the Coalition is dominating the policy agenda at state and, increasingly, the national level," said Hingerty. "There are many entities in the private sector looking for guidance on dealing with the resurgence of the Coalition and I believe my background recommends me as someone who can provide sound and timely advice."

Hingerty joins a national team at Barton Deakin that includes Collins (a former treasurer of NSW and leader of the NSW opposition) in Sydney; Grahame Morris (previously chief of staff to Prime Minister John Howard) in Canberra; John Griffin (former chief of staff to premier Jeff Kennett) in Melbourne; and, Sallyanne Atkinson (former Lord Mayor of Brisbane) in Brisbane.

“Barton Deakin prides itself on hiring only the best and most experienced Liberal and National Party former advisers and politicians and Matt fits the bill,” said Collins.