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Ban on council donations should extend to other influential groups, political expert warns

The ABC's Isobel Roe reports (5.10.17) on the Crime and Corruption Commission's investigation into the 2016 local government elections in Queensland, with TJRF Research Associate, Paul Williams, claiming that moves to ban political donations from property developers need to expand to include other lobbying groups.

'A ban on developers' council donations should be extended to include alcohol and tobacco companies but exclude trade unions, a Queensland political expert says.

'Griffith University political expert Dr Paul Williams said trust in local government had taken "a blow" after a Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) report found councils were "on the nose" and a "hotbed for perceived corruption".

'The CCC report detailed 31 recommendations to overhaul local government rules following a lengthy investigation into the Ipswich, Gold Coast, Moreton Bay and Logan councils.

'The corruption watchdog pointed to failures by several high-profile councillors and the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ), prompting the State Government to back the CCC's recommendation that property developer donations be banned at a state and local level.

'"[Local government] is currently less than 100 per cent transparent," Dr Williams said. "If voters feel that there is the potential for corruption then the system is in need of repair".

'He said the Government's move to ban developer donations should be extended to other influential bodies such as alcohol and tobacco companies, but that banning trade union donations would be "a step too far".


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