The president of Queensland's Liberal National Party will step down, blaming new developer donation laws introduced by the state's Labor government.
Gary Spence, who is also chairman of engineering consultancy firm PeakUrban, announced his resignation on Friday after a meeting of the party executive.
Mr Spence blamed recent Queensland laws banning developer donations to political parties for his decision, saying his position at PeakUrban makes him a "prohibited donor" subject to hefty fines and even prison time if he stayed in both roles.
"Thirty years ago I joined the Liberal party as a 23 year old. Thirty years later my values haven't changed.
"But what has changed is if I do my job as the LNP president in the lead-up to the next federal election I could go to jail for two years," Mr Spence told reporters after the meeting.
Nationals federal president Larry Anthony heaped praise on Mr Spence, saying he deserved much credit for creating the LNP and had made the party a "powerful force".
"It is a travesty that the Labor state government has wilfully used the legislative process to restrict the ability of the sitting president to do his job," Mr Anthony said.
Mr Spence said he received legal advice earlier this week that because his party's High Court challenge to the laws had been pushed back by several months, it was now likely there wouldn't be a decision before the next federal election.
That means if he solicited donations for the party as its president he could be found in breach of the laws because he is also technically a developer.
"The government of the day (has taken) steps to ensure their competitor is prohibited from participating in an election campaign," he said, adding he remained confident the High Court challenge would eventually succeed.
Mr Spence has recently been at the centre of tensions between the LNP's party and parliamentary wings, after threatening the preselections of three MPs, including former opposition leader Tim Nicholls, for voting with the Labor government to decriminalise abortion.
All LNP MPs had been granted a conscience vote on the issue but Mr Spence slammed the three MPs, saying they had "defied the party".
Mr Spence was also involved in the ousting of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull earlier this year, advocating behind the scenes for challenger Peter Dutton, who failed to gain the leadership, with former Treasurer Scott Morrison eventually taking the top job.
However Mr Spence rejected suggestions the recent issues had contributed to his decision to leave, and insisted there had been no internal pressure for him to go.
LNP State Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington wished Mr Spence all the best for the future.
"Mr Spence is passionate about the LNP and his work to merge the party and his service should never be forgotten," she said in a statement.
Mr Spence's replacement will be chosen at another party meeting on Tuesday with both LNP City Vice-President David Hutchinson and former opposition leader Lawrence Springborg understood to be among a shortlist of candidates to take over the role.
Australian Associated Press