Qld Labor govt to probe LNP donations

Queensland’s Labor government will hold an inquiry into political donations, focused on the previous Liberal National Party government.


Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made an election commitment to hold the inquiry and she hopes it will help allay the public’s “significant concerns” about the link between contracts awarded under the Newman government and donations to the LNP.

“(People) have been expressing concerns on a regular basis,” she said.

“You only have to listen to radio stations and you will hear people ringing up and talking about alleged impropriety, so let’s get to the bottom of it.”

Despite being aimed at her political rivals, Ms Palaszczuk denied the inquiry would be an attempt to get square with the LNP, because it would also look at Labor donations.

“If you’ve got nothing to hide there’s no concern,” she said.

She confirmed the inquiry would investigate the LNP about 28 unnamed donors who gave $100,000 to the party, and the approval of the controversial expansion of the Acland open cut coal mine.

The premier initially tried to brush off comparisons with the federal coalition government’s trade unions royal commission before calling on all involved in any inquiries to co-operate with them.

“If there is an inquiry, governments, whether you are on one side or another, you should abide by that inquiry,” she added.

Ms Palaszczuk said the Crime and Corruption Commission could possibly hold the inquiry and the terms of reference would be released by the end of this month.

Opposition Police Minister Jarrod Bleijie doubted the CCC would get involved in a political witch hunt and damage its integrity, which had only just been restored with the appointment of an independent chairman, Alan MacSporran QC, who started work on Tuesday.

“The new Labor government, the first thing they want do is again involve the CCC in politics,” he said.

“I think the CCC won’t do that because they know the risks associated with that.”