Queensland’s deputy premier has defended a $5000-a-head dinner as being part of the political process.
Queensland’s deputy premier insists fundraising is part of the political process in Australia, as the LNP prepares for a $5000-a-head dinner without declaring the attendees.
The function could raise as much as $500,000 for the LNP ahead of the state election, due next year.
Premier Campbell Newman, Prime Minister Tony Abbott and former Prime Minister John Howard will attend the dinner on Friday.
“Political parties run these sorts of functions all the time, the former government did it,” Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney told reporters on Thursday.
“The Labor party gets a constant funding stream from the union movement, and they don’t even declare it to the people whose money it is.”
Labor claims the dinner will bolster the LNP’s election war chest through “secret cash donations”.
Earlier this year, the state government amended the declaration threshold for political donations from $1000 to more than $12,000, to align with federal arrangements.
The changes mean guests at Friday’s dinner will not need to disclose their donation to the Electoral Commission.
Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk blasted the “secret” fundraiser while pressing flesh at a bowls club in Brisbane’s west.
“While I’m here having a sausage sizzle with the mums and dads, the Grange will be flowing at the $5000-a-head secret fundraiser,” she said.
Ms Palaszczuk said voters deserved to know who was gaining access to Mr Newman and Mr Seeney.
“Who is sitting at their table? Who is donating to the LNP? Queenslanders will be kept in the dark.”
When asked where the dinner would be held, Mr Seeney said while he was attending, he didn’t know the location.