Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie is pushing through with changes to political donations, raising the reporting threshold to $12,400.
Queensland’s Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie has backed down from controversial changes to political funding that could have stifled emerging parties.
Mr Bleijie wanted to up the threshold at which parties receive public funding from four per cent to 10 per cent of the vote.
But after recommendations from an LNP-dominated committee, Mr Bleijie announced on Wednesday that he will compromise.
Parties will have to secure six per cent of the vote, and will be paid $2.90 for each formal first preference vote received and eligible candidates will be paid $1.45 per vote.
“I think the amendment is appropriate to ensure that threshold doesn’t adversely impact on participation by genuine independent members and minor parties,” Mr Bleijie told parliament.
“This legislation seeks to maximise openness and transparency, to allow the sun to shine in on political process.”
Also under the changes, voters will need to show identification at the ballot box, while caps on donations and on campaign expenditure will be removed.
The donation declaration threshold will also be lifted from $1000 to $12,400, about the same level as the Commonwealth.
Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk, who is opposing the bill, says the new threshold would hide the vast majority of donations.
“It is a blatant attack on transparency and accountability,” Ms Palaszczuk told parliament.
“It will allow the big end of town to obtain special influence.
“It is a plan to take Queensland back to the dark past.”
Public service union Together called on Wednesday for companies to be banned from making political donations even if they are only likely to put forward a tender for a public asset.
Or, if they have donated and then go through a tender process, future donations should be made illegal.
Together secretary Alex Scott called for Queensland to follow NSW’s lead and ban property developers from donating as well.
“Money corrupts politicians, money corrupts decisions,” Mr Scott said.
“We can’t have a bidding war for the assets and services of our community.
“There will always be large amounts of money tempting our politicians.”
The bill is expected to pass on Thursday.