Peter Wellington
Peter Wellington

Wellington puts heat on Newman over LNP donations

PREMIER Campbell Newman has been put on notice to explain what he has done to ensure that the cash-for-favours political donations uncovered by the NSW ICAC commission are not being replicated in Queensland.

Nicklin independent MP Peter Wellington has also asked Mr Newman to put on the record what he has done to "seek a full explanation for significant revisions required of the LNP fundraising arm Altum Pty Ltd to its October 2013 transparency statements to the Australian Electoral Commission".

The move follows calls from Mr Wellington in July at public hearings into the Crime and Corruption Commission for it to research the issue of political donations to candidates and political parties in Queensland in light of the findings of the NSW ICAC.

Mr Wellington said he was also concerned about the impact of the Queensland decision to lift the reporting threshold for political donations from $1000 to $12,800.

Altum Pty Ltd acts as trustee for Altum Property Trust and gives a Maroochydore postal box as its address.

In March Altum filed amendments totalling nearly $100 million to its 2012-13 disclosure made in October last year to the Australian Electoral Commission.

The formal questions on notice to Mr Newman flow from Sunshine Coast Daily reports earlier this year in relation to Altum's role as the former landlord of the failed Walton Construction Queensland, which went into liquidation last October owing Sunshine Coast subbies $2.9 million and unsecured creditors across the state more than $29 million.

Australian Electoral Commission records show that the LNP fundraising entity received more than $1.4 million from Walton Construction in the financial years from 2009-10 to 2012-13.

LNP Queensland president Bruce McIver has denied the money was for anything other than rent that Walton Constructions paid for its former Bowen Hills headquarters owned by Altum. Mr McIver said at the time that the LNP had also been burnt by the Walton collapse. It is listed as a creditor owed $24,774.43.

"We have had no donations from Waltons whatsoever and you can quote me on that," Mr McIver said earlier this year.

On May 7 Mr Wellington tabled in Parliament the original and amended versions of Altum's returns to the electoral commission.

He has now formally asked Mr Newman two questions on notice, which the Premier must answer within a month.



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