CFMEU donates to Labor candidate despite funding threat
An ex-coal miner turned Labor candidate has been given tens of thousands of dollars in donations from the CFMEU, despite the union previously saying it would pull funding from Labor during the campaign.
ECQ disclosures have revealed the CFMEU gave about $20,500 to the campaign of Labor's Burdekin candidate Mike Brunker, who is fighting to unseat the LNP in its most marginal electorate.
Mr Brunker, a Whitsunday councillor, told The Courier-Mail he was fortunate for the union's support as he talked up Labor's record on mining - saying they had approved 16 mines in the past three years.
According to the ECQ disclosures, one donation made on October 14, worth $10,934, was a contribution to Mr Brunker through the payment of a "Political Marketing invoice".
Another donation on the same day, worth $9,570, was for the payment of another political marketing invoice with an outdoor advertising company.
"What the CFMEU has always said is they will support candidates who support their values and their members," Mr Brunker said.
"I was an executive member of the CFMEU when I worked in the mines. So obviously, I support the union and their members and the industry.
"Usually some unions or some people, lots of people, donate to the Labor Party, to central office.
"But what the CFMEU clearly said this year, the miners, is the fact that they will just support candidates who they believe are supporting their ideals."
Asked what he made of the union's stoushes with the government in recent times, Mr Brunker recalled he had stoushes with Labor when he was a miner as well.
"It's healthy democracy," he said.
"That's how you set policy."
The disclosure for both donations say the funds were passed on from the mining and energy division of the Queensland district branch.
Another disclosure on the ECQ's website shows the union donated $14,000 to Labor on October 20.
The Courier-Mail made attempts to contact the CFMEU for comment.
The union revealed in August that it would pull funds and volunteers from Labor's election campaign.
At the time, they hit out at the government at being more interested in getting itself elected with spin and bright ads, rather than an economic plan that would create jobs for working class people.
Originally published as CFMEU donates to Labor candidate despite funding threat