Property Council responds to developer donation ban legislation

The Property Council has provided a submission in response to the Local Government Electoral (Implementing Belcarra) And Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2017.

The Bill, which seeks to give effect to the Government’s proposed ban on political donations from property developers, has been opposed by the Property Council on the basis that it singles out the property sector for inequitable treatment under electoral laws, and unduly brands Queensland’s biggest non-government employer as a corruption risk.

Within the submission, the Property Council outlined that many industries and entities stand to benefit from the decisions of government. However, the limited scope of the Crime and Corruption Commission’s Operation Belcarra – which has triggered the Government’s Bill - only highlighted perception concerns with the development industry.

The Property Council has encouraged the Parliamentary Committee investigating the Bill to recommend that the CCC undertake a broader review of political donations and alternate regulatory responses. 

A number of concerns with the definition and provisions proposed within the Bill have also been highlighted within this submission. In particular, significant flaws and ambiguity with the definition of a ‘property developer’ have been communicated, with the proposed definition capturing a significant number of individuals and entities who should not be regarded as developers.

Although the Bill will not be voted on until the parliamentary committee investigation into the Bill is tabled on 27 November 2017, the reforms will be applied retrospectively from 12 October 2017. As such a de facto ban on political donations from property developers is already in place.