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The last time Allan Fels dined at @machiavelliristorante was the mid '90s, when the Sydney restaurant under Clarence Street was at the height of its influence, a regular haunt for top politicians, media barons and their relevant hangers-on.⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ "Twenty or 30 years ago, you thought nothing of having lunch with someone you were regulating or investigating," he tells our reporter @lisaadelemurray over Lunch with the AFR. "Now a regulator would be very cautious about having a free lunch."⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ Fels came very close to choosing a life in politics. He started out as a budding student politician in Western Australia, where he became president of the Liberal Party's Nedlands branch, which sits in @juliebishopmp's electorate, before opting to study at @dukeuniversity and then onto @cambridgeuniversity.⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ He moved into regulation and was made head of the ACCC's precursor, the Trade Practices Commission, in 1991. For the next 12 years, Fels reinvented the role of the regulator taking a consumer activist approach to investigations and using both the courts and the media to make his case.⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ In the past, Fels was described as a "media tart"; he does not recoil from the label. On the contrary, his high profile has served him well throughout his career.⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ Read the full story at www.afr.com/x/h167xe⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ 📰: @lisaadelemurray⠀⠀ 📷: Steven Siewert⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ #lunchwiththeafr #lunch #politics #auspol #leadership

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