Queensland Supreme Court Justice Peter Applegarth dismissed the application by the Australian Institute for Progress on Monday.
The AIP receives funding from some property developers who are prohibited donors under Queensland’s electoral laws, according to Justice Applegarth.
The AIP planned to take part in October’s election by producing and distributing material advocating a vote for or against a political party.
Justice Applegarth said in his judgment most of the AIP board have a connection with the Liberal National Party, but many of its members do not.
The AIP wanted the court to make declarations regarding gifts that would not fall within the meaning of political donations.
But the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) argued the vague, imprecise declarations raised only hypothetical questions that were not the function of the court to answer.
The prohibited donor laws were introduced to minimise corruption and undue influence that political donations from property developers could cause.
The AIP took the matter to court after asking the commission whether it is legal for prohibited donors to donate to the AIP.
The ECQ responded that “an entity would likely be committing an offence by accepting an unlawful donation and incurring electoral expenditure”.
– AAPJump to next article