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Watchdog probes LNP over $143,000 from developers

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Queensland’s electoral commission is reportedly investigating the Liberal National Party for allegedly receiving donations worth at least $143,000 from property developers.

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The Australian reports two probes have been launched into an LNP fundraiser in Noosa in 2019 and a dinner at state parliament in Brisbane last year.

Developers have been banned from making political donations in Queensland since 2018.

The Electoral Commission of Queensland would not confirm whether any investigations are underway.

“For reasons of confidentiality, the ECQ does not release details of any compliance activities that may or may not be underway,” a spokesperson told AAP on Tuesday.

“The ECQ has an active compliance program and continues to work with all stakeholders to ensure they are aware of their obligations.”

The Australian reports that Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton was a guest speaker at the first event in July 2019 and then state opposition leader Deb Frecklington attended.

The Noosa luncheon was organised by Sunshine Coast MP Dan Purdie with tickets costing $990 per head, which is below the $1000 reporting threshold.

Property developers attended that event, the newspaper reported.

The ECQ is also reportedly probing a dinner organised by Purdie in Queensland parliament on August 13 last year.

Frecklington and senior LNP MP John-Paul Langbroek attended that event, along with at least two property developers.

Neither of those developers gave money to the party, but a close associate of the men later made a $13,000 donation.

LNP sources told the newspaper that donation was a mystery because the man had not attended any party events or donated in the past.

The LNP came under a cloud during the election campaign over allegations Frecklington attended a number of other fundraisers involving developers.

She said at the time that all donations to her had been declared and published on the ECQ website.

Frecklington denied the LNP had accepted any third-party donations or that the ECQ had sent her or the party a show-cause notice about the fundraisers.

However, she admitted the LNP seeks ECQ clarification about donations regularly which is normal practice.

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