Queensland Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington says she stands by her integrity amid reports she has been reported to the state electoral watchdog by her own party over legal concerns about fundraising.
Speaking in the Labor-held seat of Redcliffe on Tuesday morning, Ms Frecklington rejected reports she had been referred to the Electoral Commission of Queensland and said the party “routinely” sought legal advice from the watchdog because the “laws are complex”.
She said anyone could attend a fundraising event, despite the LNP state director Michael O’Dwyer issuing a warning to all MPs and candidates months earlier urging them not to do so.
“Please ensure that prohibited donors are NOT invited to private events and you avoid any such events where it is known that prohibited donors will be in attendance,” Mr O’Dwyer said in a statement in August.
“I haven’t heard from them [the ECQ] at all,” Ms Frecklington said on Tuesday.
“In relation to private dinners, I attend dinners all the time – I’m a politician.
“Politicians attend support dinners, politicians mix with and go to events with every manner of type of business people.
“On the ECQ website, anyone can attend a fundraiser but a prohibited donor cannot donate.
“Let’s make it really clear – I stand by my integrity.
“It’s just absolutely not correct.”
The ABC Investigations report revealed Ms Frecklington’s presence at events attended by property developers raised concerns within LNP headquarters that fundraising laws may have been breached.
Guests at the events have given almost $150,000 to her campaign, but the ABC has found no evidence of donations from developers who were also there.
However, party sources told the ABC a key concern was one developer’s account that another prohibited donor allegedly instructed him to funnel donations to the LNP via an industry body.
Ms Frecklington denied people had been asked to donate via a third party.
Asked if there would be any property developers attending Tuesday’s fundraising event in Brisbane with the Prime Minister, she replied: “I don’t think so, but I’m not sure because I haven’t seen the invitation list”.
In an earlier statement, an LNP spokesman said the allegation the party has referred Ms Frecklington to the ECQ was false.
“The LNP regularly communicates with the ECQ to ensure that we comply with the act,” the statement said.