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Facebook furore as Councillor calls out 'gutter tactics'

Division 3 candidate Danny Donohue. Photo: David Nielsen / Queensland Times
Division 3 candidate Danny Donohue. Photo: David Nielsen / Queensland Times David Nielsen

A SENIOR Queensland government ministerial chauffeur is facing a two-year jail sentence and fines of $24,000 after being accused of running an illegal lottery to finance his election campaign to unseat Ipswich deputy mayor Victor Attwood.

An official complaint has been made by Cr Attwood to the Minister for Justice and Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath alleging that the driver, Danny Donohue, has breached the Lotteries Act 1997 and the Criminal Code, which carry penalties of up to two years' jail for operating an illegal lottery or unlawful game of chance in Queensland.

Mr Donohue (pictured), of Collingwood Park, is the official driver for the Minister for Disability Services, Coralee O'Rourke, based in Townsville.

Mr Donohue, a senior figure in the Labor Left in Ipswich, has launched a fundraiser on Facebook calling on his supporters to deposit $10 into his campaign account for a chance to win a $100 voucher at Charlton's Tackle & Bait shop at Redbank.

Under the Criminal Code it is illegal to run an unlawful game of chance where the organiser takes a commission from the proceeds.

Mr Donohue is launching a second bid to oust Cr Attwood who has represented Division 3 on the Ipswich City Council since 2000.

On his personal Facebook site, Mr Donohue describes himself as a "politician" despite never having held public office.

A separate complaint has been made by Cr Attwood to the Local Government Minister Jackie Trad that Mr Donohue is falsely claiming to be the holder of a public office contrary to the Local Government Act, an offence which carries a fine up to $10,000.

Cr Attwood said Mr Donohue's alleged actions were "outrageous".

"After running the last time I thought he would know better than to stoop to gutter tactics," he said.

"It is unethical to try and election fund raise in this manner and I have made a complaint to the Attorney General, and for purporting to be a politician I have made a complaint to the Deputy Premier," he said.

Danny Donohue's Facebook page.
Danny Donohue's Facebook page.

The QT asked Mr Donohue for a response but he did not respond by deadline. It's not clear how Mr Donohue will be able to comply with the Local Government Elections Act, which requires the names and addresses of all donors to be lodged with the Electoral Commission within 15 weeks of election day.

If donors cannot be clearly identified, their donations are automatically forfeited to the state government.

A well-placed senior Labor party source said Mr Donohue had become "an embarrassment" to the state government and the Labor Party with his election antics.

The source said Mr Donohue and two other Labor Party members were planning to take over the Ipswich City Council with candidates against Labor Party member Cr Paul Tully, the state's longest-serving city councillor with 36 years' service, and Cr Sheila Ireland who was first elected in 2004. Cr Ireland is not a Labor Party member.

"Donohue and his mates have started World War III in Ipswich, causing serious problems for the Palaszczuk government," the source said.

"It's time for the Premier to step in and to sort out these political amateurs who are now wrecking the Labor Party in Ipswich."

Topics:  complaint editors picks facebook ipswich ipswich council victor attwood


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