Lock the Gate Alliance has today called for an overhaul of political donations in Queensland following reports that Linc Energy made more than $330,000 worth of donations to the State and Federal branches of the Liberal Party while being investigated for gas leaks at their Underground Coal Gasification project at Hopeland.
National President of Lock the Gate Alliance, Drew Hutton, said the Linc Energy allegation raised serious questions about the state of political donations in Queensland, and why the mining industry is given special treatment over local communities, their land and their water.
He said the Palaszczuk Government must urgently implement and broaden a promised Crime and Corruption Commission inquiry into political donations and government decisions over the last term of Government, and act on long-standing recommendations to clean up mining lobbyists.
"The system is broken when a mining company being investigated for breaches of their licence can at the same time donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to the government undertaking the investigation,” Mr Hutton said.
"It leaves the Queensland Government open to risks of corruption, exhibits a lack of transparency and make a mockery of democracy and a fair go.
"The mining industry have too much undue influence over our political parties. The gas leak at Hopeland and the impact it had on the local community shows the human cost of that influence.
"The people of Chinchilla have been left devastated by Linc’s actions and have been left to deal with a major environmental disaster.
"The contamination is so vast, that it is being described as one of the largest pollution events in the history of Queensland.
"As the community was dealing with the fall out of the leak, the Liberal Party were receiving donations from Linc and turned a blind eye to the leaks.
"What will the Palaszczuk Government do to stamp out the influence of the mining industry? The Palaszczuk Government need to act urgently and repair the aging political donation system and stop special deals for mining companies," said Mr Hutton.