De­vel­oper donor ban set to cost LNP $1m

The Weekend Australian - - THE NATION - SARAH ELKS

Queens­land La­bor’s pro­posed ban on prop­erty de­vel­oper do­na­tions will slash about $1 mil­lion from the Lib­eral Na­tional Party’s cam­paign war chest, even be­fore the pro­hi­bi­tion be­comes law.

The LNP wrote to its cam­paign of­fices on Thurs­day night warn­ing them to stop ac­cept­ing money from de­vel­op­ers, just hours af­ter Premier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk in­tro­duced the leg­is­la­tion and con­firmed it would be ret­ro­spec­tive from that day.

Se­nior LNP sources es­ti­mated the po­ten­tial loss in cash to be about $1m, far more than the likely hit to the La­bor Party from its loss of in­come from de­vel­op­ers.

“That’s why it’s been made ret­ro­spec­tive,” an LNP source said. “To give them an ad­van­tage lead­ing to the next elec­tion. We’ll be $1m down, in round num­bers.”

A La­bor strate­gist said La­bor re­ceived about one-third of the amount of de­vel­oper do­na­tions com­pared with the LNP. But the LNP is con­fi­dent the pro­posed ban will not en­snare the party’s in-house in­vest­ment arm Al­tum be­cause it is a prop­erty in­vestor, not a prop­erty de­vel­oper.

The bill has been sent to a par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee, which is due to re­port back on Novem­ber 27, mak­ing it un­likely it will pass the hung par­lia­ment this year.

Grif­fith Univer­sity po­lit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor Paul Wil­liams said the leg­is­la­tion would hurt the LNP dis­pro­por­tion­ately.

“I agree it’s clever pol­i­tics to make it ret­ro­spec­tive,” Dr Wil­liams said. “The only thing that could muddy the per­cep­tion the govern­ment is act­ing al­tru­is­ti­cally is a sug­ges­tion from the LNP that it should ban union do­na­tions as well.”

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