CRUCIAL TIME: Scrutineers prepare to count all-important votes. The council election will be held on March 28. Picture Mike Batterham
CRUCIAL TIME: Scrutineers prepare to count all-important votes. The council election will be held on March 28. Picture Mike Batterham

Election watchdog says no list of banned donors

THE state's election watchdog says there is "no list of prohibited donors", despite new legislation outlawing political donations by developers to state and local governments.

The controversial laws passed by the State Government last year and backdated to before the 2017 state election, banned political donations from property developers and industry bodies which had property developers as the majority of its members.

It also became illegal to accept prohibited donations or to ask someone to make a donation on behalf of a prohibited donor.

The Electoral Commission Queensland's website states if people were unsure about whether they could make political donations, they could apply to the ECQ for a determination.

"According to the state's electoral laws, the Electoral Commissioner (or delegate) may only determine an applicant isn't a prohibited donor, or make no determination," the website read.

An ECQ spokesman said as the body didn't determine whether an individual or entity was a prohibited donor, there was no list of prohibited donors.

The ECQ Commissioner could determine upon application whether a person or entity was a non-prohibited donor, and a register of those was kept on the website.

The ECQ encouraged individuals to use its self-assessment tool online, to determine whether or not they may be a prohibited donor.

"The ECQ does not determine whether an individual or entity is a prohibited donor. As such, there is no list of prohibited donors," an ECQ spokesman said.

"Individuals or entities may, however, apply to the Electoral Commissioner for a determination that they or another entity is not a prohibited donor."

The High Court upheld the new laws in April last year, after former LNP Queensland president Gary Spence challenged their validity.

Mr Spence took up the fight claiming the new laws could have left him facing jail time, due to his dealings with the property industry in his role as chairman of engineering consultancy firm PeakUrban.

The State Government introduced the donation ban following the Crime and Corruption Commission report after Operation Belcarra.

The report had only recommended the donation ban be applied at the local government level.


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