Corruption alive in Qld under Labor: LNP

Tracey Ferrier
Deb Frecklington claims the Queensland Labor government tolerates corrupt union behaviour

Queensland's opposition leader has used a newspaper column to accuse the Labor government of tolerating corruption and pocketing cash from a criminal union.

In Friday's edition of The Courier-Mail, LNP leader Deb Frecklington says corruption and criminality are alive and well "at the highest levels of government".

She says Labor must stop taking donations from the CFMEU, claiming the union was getting "unfettered access to the Palaszczuk government" in return for its financial and other support.

The newspaper featured a story about her claims on its front page and ran her column in its opinion pages.

"Not only does our government turn a blind eye to corruption, it even accepts huge sums of money from an organisation that extorts cash from Queenslanders," she writes.

"... it's time we clean up Queensland politics. And the CFMEU's relationship with the Queensland Labor Party is the best place to start."

She accused the CFMEU of a "shocking" level of criminality, citing a spate of recent fines after losing 10 cases brought by the Australian Building and Construction Commission.

"The union uses intimidation to force individuals and firms to use CFMEU workers and its favoured contractors. Workers who don't fall in line are attacked as 'gutless grubs, scabs and dogs weak as piss'."

She said the union should be treated as an outcast, but Labor was doing the opposite.

"... it has unfettered access to the Palaszczuk government, and its ministers go in to bat for the union whenever its appalling behaviour hits the headlines."

The column has been published while the premier is overseas, leaving Acting Premier Jackie Trad to defend Labor's relationship with the union. She's due to hold a press conference later in the day.

In the meantime, a government spokesman questioned why the LNP leader went to a newspaper rather than to the corruption watchdog.

"If Deb Frecklington is serious, she'd be writing to the Crime and Corruption Commission not to The Courier-Mail," he told AAP.

A government spokesman earlier told The Courier-Mail that the CCC's Belcarra Report specifically considered the issue of union donations and found that a ban on donations was not justified.

Ms Frecklington says Labor has pocketed $598,000 from the union since 2014, accepts its help during campaigns, and "even puts the party's election candidates on its payroll".

AAP has sought comment from the CFMEU.