Developer donation ban looms
The Queensland Government has introduced legislation to ban donations to local and state politicians from property developers, but not unions.
It means Queensland Labor can continue to take political donations from the CFMEU, even though its national secretary Dave Noonan would be captured by the proposed ban.
But the CFMEU might have trouble donating because it controls more than 20 per cent of the Cbus Property developing firm.
The LNP opposition is concerned about not being able to accept money from developers, potentially cutting its election war chest by $1 million.
In the past 18 months, the CFMEU has poured nearly $85,000 into Queensland Labor, including $13,000 from Mr Noonan’s national branch.
The new legislation bans donations from property developers and their close associates. The bill is being considered by a parliamentary committee before the hung parliament votes.
If candidates or parties are found to have accepted donations from prohibited sources, they could be fined twice the amount they received.
The new legislation classes both directors of property development companies and their spouses as property developers, thus making them prohibited donors.
University of Queensland electoral law professor Graeme Orr says Mr Noonan would be classed as a property developer, but the national branch of the CFMEU would not be covered by the legislation.
“The CFMEU complies, and will continue to comply, with all of its legal obligations in respect of political donations,” Mr Noonan said.
The LNP says donations from all unions should be banned, but has not revealed whether it will back the bill.