Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie Cade Mooney

Cap on political donations to be scrapped

POLITICAL hopefuls who contest the next state election will have to win 10% of the vote before getting any financial support from Queensland taxpayers.

A cap on political donations will also be lifted and electronic voting will become an option with the aim of rolling it out across the state in six years.

The electoral reforms are a few options the LNP Government has decided on following the electoral green paper, which went out for consultation in January.

Included in the paper was an option to scrap compulsory voting, which the government has chosen to ignore.

"We won't be changing the way people vote, we won't be changing optional preferential voting we have in this state," Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said.

In regards to scrapping caps on political donations, Mr Bleijie said the process would become "more transparent" with disclosures required each month for donations above $12,400.

"The next question is, how do you maintain the highest level in our system?" he said.

"You have a continuous disclosure regime. So rather than political parties disclosing public funding and donations over a six month and then a 12 month period we actually have a monthly disclosure.

"So within 20 days after a month ends, political parties will be required to update the registers on political donations within one month."

The State Government will also raise the threshold for potential politicians to receive public funding from securing 4% of the vote to 10%.

At the same time, political party funding will be halved to help make a $57,000 pay rise for MPs cost-neutral to the budget.

Acting Premier Jeff Seeney announced on Monday a pay freeze on MPs wages in 2009 was "unlawful" and current and serving MPs would entitled to back pay.

In rectifying the legal glitch, Queensland MPs will see their base salary rise by about $57,000.

Mr Bleijie said slashing the political party funding by half meant $12 million would be saved.

The Attorney-General also outlined his vision to see electronic voting across Queensland in the next six years.

He said the immediate priority was to provide electronic voting to people with disabilities but flagged a trial across certain electorates in 2015.

"My ideal would be that come six years we would be able to have a system of electronic voting for all Queenslanders," he said.

"That's our goal that is our plan."



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