Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle.
Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle. Alistair Brightman

McArdle disputes fundraiser should be declared in diary

ENERGY Minister Mark McArdle has denied a meeting with a power provider, and LNP donor, was out of the ordinary or needed to be declared in his ministerial diary.

Fairfax Media reported on Monday Mr McArdle held a fundraiser at ERM Power, which has previously donated to the LNP, in 2013 with company representatives and lobbyists SAS Group.

The activities did not appear in his ministerial diary, despite the Newman Government declaring in January, 2013 an edited version of ministerial diaries be released monthly.

A spokesman for the Caloundra MP said there was nothing unusual about the energy minister meting with an energy company.

"It is clearly stated on the cabinet website - and has been stated since the nation leading publication of Queensland ministerial diaries began in January 2013 - that diary extracts do not include 'personal, electorate or party political meetings or events, media events and interviews and information contrary to public interest (eg meetings regarding sensitive law enforcement, public safety or whistleblower matters).' The meeting referred to falls into that category," he said.

"As the minister's diary clearly shows, the minister regularly meets with a wide range of stakeholders in the energy and water sectors.

"For example, in trying to find out what more can be done to minimise electricity and water supply costs the minister last week personally met with a global thinker on climate change action, the Energy and Water Ombudsman Advisory Council - and hundreds of local residents and businesses living in and around Redcliffe, Calamvale, Beaudesert, Bundaberg, Mackay, Ingham, Ayr and Townsville."

Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said the LNP had a cloudy history on political donations.

"Once again we go to another integrity and accountability issue of the LNP," she said.

"And that is now that political donations of up to $12,800, it has just been raised, to not have to be declared. There is clearly a conflict of interest and the LNP has to explain why they are hiding this information from taxpayers."

It is understood the Electrical Trades Union will present the papers to the Federal Senate Commission into the Queensland Government on Friday, however, the union declined to comment on Monday.

"The ETU will not comment publicly on matters in relation to its submission to the Senate Select Committee on Certain Aspects of Queensland Government Administration related to Commonwealth Government Affairs until such time as the committee has decided to make the submission publicly available or the ETU has had the opportunity to appear before the committee's public hearings," the union said in a statement.


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