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Date & time Oct 11 '17
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Some candidates failed to declare donations in Queensland local government elections

There are allegations some candidates in last year's Queensland local government elections failed to declare donations, a Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) inquiry in Brisbane has heard.

Key points:CCC hearing into local council elections beginsClaims candidates had secret pacts, funding and property linksECQ says managing local elections more challenging than state campaigns

It is the CCC's first public investigation in at least five years and was launched after both the CCC and the Electoral Commission Queensland (ECQ) received complaints about financial dealings during last year's campaigns.

The CCC is holding public hearings over independent candidates allegedly receiving funds from political parties and property developers.

Counsel assisting the inquiry Glen Rice QC said complaints were made about practices that could give rise to potential corruption van cleef turquoise necklace knock off risks, or undermine the integrity and transparency of the election process.

He said there were allegations some Gold Coast, Moreton Bay copy van cleef and arpels necklace alhambra and Ipswich candidates had purported to be independent, but were in fact part of an unregistered group of candidates that shared campaign resources and funding sources.

Queensland's electoral commissioner Walter van der Merwe told the inquiry he received a significantly higher number of complaints after the 2016 elections.

"There were allegations which were made to me I operate on the basis that I'd rather hear about it than not hear about it," he said.

"Some of those allegations I thought were reasonably significant, that they needed further investigation replica vintage alhambra necklace and review, and I think that's why we're here today."

He said local government elections were a lot more "complex and challenging" compared to a state election with 89 electoral districts.

Mr van der Merwe said there was a significant "trust factor" when it came to council candidates doing the right thing.

He said the 1,700 candidates were made aware of the disclosure requirements.

"I don't have a network of investigators out there there's an element of trust and goodwill in terms of the legislation," he said.

"Third party members, candidates etc should make themselves fully aware of the legislative requirements that they operate in."

Under Queensland law, local government candidates who intend to align themselves with each other must publicly disclose their links when they nominate.

The laws were introduced after a previous corruption inquiry found the 2004 Gold Coast City Council election was corrupted by secret funding from developers.

The inquiry will hear from nearly 20 witnesses, including former Turnbull Government minister Stuart Robert, Labor backbencher Shayne Neumann, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale and Moreton Bay Mayor Allan Sutherland.

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