Labor pledges donation, watchdog reversal
Labor has promised to undo the Newman government’s controversial reforms to political donation laws and Queensland’s crime and corruption watchdog.
The Newman government has lifted the disclosure level for political donations from $1000 to $12,400, aligning Queensland with federal disclosure rules.
Labor leader Annastacia Palaszczuk says the party will reverse the move if it wins the 2015 election.
And the change would be retrospective, meaning there would be full disclosure on donations made since November 2013, when the government introduced the reporting threshold, she said.
She warned all sitting MPs to start keeping their receipts.
“I’m putting on notice to all the parties today, make sure your records are accurate,” she said.
“This was a ploy [by the Newman government] to hide secret donations.”
The Newman government has also promised to increase the reporting threshold if the federal government takes the lead.
Deputy premier Jeff Seeney defended increasing the threshold, which he says was necessary to avoid cross-border confusion, “so that you weren’t trying to differentiate between raising money for state campaigns and raising money for federal campaigns,” he said.
“Consistency across the jurisdiction was sensible and the only practical way to avoid the sorts of confusions we’ve seen in other places.”
Controversial changes to the state’s crime and corruption watchdog, which is now called the Crime and Corruption Commission, would also be reversed under Labor.
Ms Palaszczuk said the positions of chairman, chief executive and commissioners would again require bipartisan support, and their terms would be fixed.
And complaints made anonymously to the watchdog would again be allowed.
The chairman of the parliamentary committee that oversees the watchdog will also have to be a non-government member who has the support of the opposition of the day.
“The way it is now, Premier Campbell Newman and the LNP control who is in control of our anti-corruption watchdog,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
The commission, in its various forms, was born out of the Fitzgerald corruption inquiry in the 1980s.
The 25th anniversary of the landmark Fitzgerald report is this week, and Ms Palaszczuk clutched a dog-eared copy of the document during Wednesday’s press conference.