Over­rule ‘de­vi­ous’ cash ban, says LNP se­na­tor

The Australian - - THE NATION - PRIMROSE RIORDAN

Queens­land’s “de­vi­ous” po­lit­i­cal do­na­tions leg­is­la­tion ban­ning prop­erty de­vel­oper do­na­tions is likely to dam­age the fed­eral govern­ment’s chances in the bat­tle­ground state at the next elec­tion and needs to be over­ruled, LNP se­na­tor James McGrath says.

The com­ments come as Scott Mor­ri­son wrapped up his tour of the state, where the LNP needs to de­fend eight mar­ginal elec­torates.

Fed­eral par­lia­ment is set to dis­cuss new leg­is­la­tion ban­ning for­eign do­na­tions to po­lit­i­cal par­ties in the next few sit­ting weeks.

The Coali­tion wants to in­clude clauses giv­ing fed­eral po­lit­i­cal fund­ing reg­u­la­tions pri­macy over state laws.

The Queens­land La­bor govern­ment has in­tro­duced changes to ban do­na­tions from prop­erty de­vel­op­ers, with the elec­toral com­mis­sioner be­ing re­spon­si­ble for defin­ing who should be black­listed.

In call­ing for the clauses to be in­cluded in the po­lit­i­cal do­na­tion laws, Se­na­tor McGrath said the state laws could get in the way of a Coali­tion vic­tory. “The Queens­land leg­is­la­tion is a de­vi­ous piece of work from La­bor HQ which is de­lib­er­ately aimed at dam­ag­ing the LNP,” Se­na­tor McGrath told The Aus­tralian.

“I guess it has come out of Queens­land that state La­bor have brought in a law that is of­fen­sive on so many lev­els in terms of how it im­pacts upon the Lib­eral Na­tional Party and the Lib­eral Na­tional Party’s abil­ity to cam­paign in fed­eral elec­tions.”

He said the laws “clearly” im­pacted on the Queens­land elec­tion. “We don’t see laws from La­bor lim­it­ing do­na­tions from unions when a num­ber of union of­fi­cials have gone to jail for ev­ery­thing from thug­gery to good old cor­rup­tion.

“We don’t see laws aimed at those law break­ers but we see laws aimed at de­vel­op­ers who are en­gaged in a le­gal pur­suit.

“The real story here is how La­bor is us­ing the elec­toral sys­tem in Queens­land in a man­ner that is far worse than any­thing in pre­vi­ous Queens­land his­tory, whether it is the ban on de­vel­oper do­na­tions in terms of im­pact­ing the LNP. Even our pres­i­dent of our party can’t ac­tu­ally give money to the party he’s pres­i­dent of.”

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