QUEENSLAND Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney caught government officials off guard when he ordered a last-minute law change that prevented the possible prosecution of a major LNP donor for what senior bureaucrats deemed illegal river quarrying.
Emails, briefing notes and other correspondence between senior officials and Department of Natural Resources and Mines Minister Andrew Cripps show no discussion about a change to the law before Mr Seeney ordered the amendment to the Water Act in early April.
The retrospective law change allowed Karreman Quarries to continue to extract millions of dollars worth of sand and gravel from the bed of the Upper Brisbane River at Harlin, north-west of Brisbane.
Karreman Quarries gave $50,000 to the Queensland LNP in 2011-12, putting it among the party's top dozen donors. It gave $25,000 to the LNP the previous year.
It has also emerged that, since 7.30 revealed Mr Seeney's role in June, the State Government allocated $1.6 million of taxpayer funds to restoring the slumped river banks of properties on the Upper Brisbane River, where for 20 years the owners have blamed quarrying for the damage.