The Courier-Mail

Look closely, there’s noth­ing to see here

Do­na­tions in­quiry will in­ves­ti­gate LNP and La­bor: Premier

- STEVEN WARDILL

AN­NASTA­CIA Palaszczuk has in­sisted La­bor’s in­quiry into po­lit­i­cal do­na­tions won’t be a witch hunt be­cause it will probe her own ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The Queens­land Premier yesterday promised the public in­quiry’s terms of ref­er­ence would be fi­nalised within weeks af­ter La­bor com­mit­ted to in­ves­ti­gate links be­tween do­na­tions and de­ci­sions dur­ing Jan­uary’s elec­tion.

In a con­tro­ver­sial move, La­bor looks set to di­rect the in­de­pen­dent Crime and Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion to launch the in­quiry even though it has the power to launch its own in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Ms Palaszczuk yesterday in­sisted it was ob­vi­ous to any­one who lis­tened to talk­back ra­dio that an in­quiry was es­sen­tial in Queens­land.

“Peo­ple have ex­pressed con­cerns, they 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 talk­ing about al­leged im­pro­pri­eties.”

The Premier (pic­tured) said she ex­pected the in­quiry would ex­plore the for­mer New­man gov­ern­ment’s ap- proval of Acland Stage Three which fol­lowed a do­na­tion from New Hope.

“We want to find out (if) un­der the for­mer gov­ern­ment there were any con­nec­tions be­tween po­lit­i­cal do­na­tions and the award­ing of con­tracts and ten­ders,’’ she said.

Ms Palaszczuk later clar­i­fied that, say­ing the in­quiry’s terms would not be re­stricted to the LNP’s pe­riod in power but ex­tend to La­bor ad­min­is­tra­tions – in­clud­ing her own.

“Of course it can, I have no prob­lem with that,’’ she said.

“This is an elec­tion com­mit­ment that we made. The La­bor Party has noth­ing to hide and I hope the LNP has noth­ing to hide.”

She was then asked if she sup­ported the Ab­bott Gov­ern­ment’s Royal Com­mis­sion into Trade Union Cor­rup­tion. She said it was up to all par­ties to “abide by that in­quiry”.

“Gov­ern­ments, if there is an in­quiry, gov­ern­ments, whether you are on one side or the other, you should, abide by that in­quiry,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Now, that has hap­pened in the past, if the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment has an in­quiry into trade unions, so be it, now if there is go­ing to be a po­lit­i­cal do­na­tions, so be it.”

Op­po­si­tion po­lice spokesman Jar­rod Blei­jie ac­cused the Premier of politi­cis­ing the watchdog by or­der­ing it to have an in­quiry: “I think the CCC won’t do that, be­cause they know the risks as­so­ci­ated with that.”

The Gov­ern­ment would likely have to use its num­bers on the Par­lia­men­tary Crime and Cor­rup­tion Com­mit­tee to or­der the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The LNP, which re­cently re­vealed it had failed to keep the iden­tity of dozens of donors who col­lec­tively chipped in $100,000, called for the in­quiry to be ex­panded to La­bor de­ci­sions linked to unions.

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