The Courier-Mail

Look closely, there’s nothing to see here

Donations inquiry will investigat­e LNP and Labor: Premier


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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