LNP slammed over donations fight

Stuart Layt

The Queensland government has slammed the Liberal National Party opposition for going to court to avoid revealing the source of $100,000 worth of political donations it received.

However the LNP insists it is seeking to clarify a point of law left ambiguous when the government changed political disclosure rules earlier this year.

The Electoral Commission Queensland is currently taking legal action against the LNP to force the party to provide details of 28 donations the party received between January and June 2014.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said the LNP had shown a "lack of leadership" over the issue.

"The ECQ has been forced to take unprecedented action to force the LNP of Queensland to abide by the laws of this state and declare the donors behind the $100,000 worth of donations that have been hidden from public scrutiny," Ms Trad told state parliament on Tuesday.

"This is a fundamental test of leadership for (opposition leader Tim Nicholls) - he must direct the LNP."

Ms Trad moved a motion late on Tuesday morning which called on the parliament to condemn the LNP for its actions, leading to a protracted debate.

But Mr Nicholls insisted the motion was a "stunt."

"What we have seen today from the deputy premier is a statement of self-serving claims that would do any conspiracy theorist proud," he said.

Shadow attorney-general Ian Walker clarified the opposition was looking for a better idea about how the laws were supposed to work.

"An inconsistency issue arises ... because there are different rules for federal disclosure of donations and state disclosure of donations," Mr Walker said.

"The ECQ is of the view that donations made to federal campaign of political parties need to be disclosed under the state regime."

"The purpose of this reference to the court is to find out what the law is."

The government introduced the new donation transparency rules in February this year, dropping the donation declaration threshold to $1000, after the previous LNP government lifted it to $12,500.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Tuesday said the LNP's actions were costing taxpayers money.

"If they were to just disclose their donors, there would be no need for a costly court case which will cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars," Ms Palaszczuk said.

The government was embarrassed when it moved a motion to limit debate on its own motion after lunch on Tuesday, with the house instead voting to continue the debate into Tuesday evening.