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Union in court over disclosure breaches

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The Queensland branch of the Electrical Trades Union has vowed to fight "trumped up" charges under new laws it says are intended to silence unions.

The ETU has been charged with seven breaches of the Newman government's financial disclosure laws for unions and business groups.

The laws require the heads of such organisations to publicly disclose their personal expenses and spending on public campaigns.

Unions must also ballot members for approval before embarking on any political campaign that will cost more than $10,000.

A hearing is expected to be held in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday, with ETU members expected to stage a rally there.

A union spokesman said the court case would expose the laws for what they really were - an attack on the labour movement.

"They are out there wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars attacking unions rather than governing," state assistant secretary Keith McKenzie said in a statement.

"This is purely ideological and in the fullness of time will be seen as just that."

Premier Campbell Newman has defended the laws, saying union members are entitled to know how their money is being spent.

But the Queensland Council of Unions has branded the laws unconstitutional and has launched a High Court challenge against them.

AAP

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