Greens MP Michael Berkman, who this year introduced a Bill to expand the donations ban to include all corporate donors. Picture: Liam Kidston
Greens MP Michael Berkman, who this year introduced a Bill to expand the donations ban to include all corporate donors. Picture: Liam Kidston

Greens caught in donation trap

THEY ran on a platform of eradicating corporate donations, but now the Greens have had to pay back a donation under Queensland's developer donation ban.

The latest repayment ­figures, obtained by The Courier-Mail, show the Greens ­repaid a $1000 donation from Melbourne-based publisher and property developer Morry Schwartz.

The party received the donation on September 25 and repaid it the same day, seeking a determination as to whether Mr Schwartz was considered a prohibited donor under Queensland's developer donation ban.

Greens MP Michael Berkman introduced a Bill to expand the laws to include all corporate donations this year after winning the seat of Maiwar. It is yet to return to State Parliament for debate.

The Greens' repayment comes after News Queensland revealed this month that Labor had been caught out by its own laws, having to pay back two donations worth about $6500 by the November 1 deadline.

The LNP also repaid four donations worth about $8360 by November 1, and has since repaid another four donations worth $22,080, including three from casino operator Star ­Entertainment.

Bundaberg councillor Steve Cooper, who replaced LNP MP David Batt on council after he won the state seat of Bundaberg at last year's election, repaid a $1200 donation on the basis that the donor could be considered prohibited.

The developer donation laws were initially introduced by the Palaszczuk Government last year, just weeks before the state election was called, and they were reintroduced this year.

The ban was recommended for councils by the Crime and Corruption Commission, but Labor moved to apply it to the state arena as well.

It officially kicked in from October, but has been made retrospective to cover any donations from October 12 last year.

Anyone caught taking money from a property developer can face fines or jail time, as can the donor.



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