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How Trad became everything she stood against

IT WAS former Queensland premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen who said if you fly with the crows, you will get shot with the crows.

It poignantly sums up the political career of now ex-deputy premier and treasurer Jackie Trad.

Ms Trad, highly ambitious and one to never suffer fools, played a tough, uncompromising brand of politics.

She was the enforcer, the one ready to get into the ring and duke it out with anyone - even her own Left faction.

Ms Trad pushed through abortion law reform, human rights and urban planning legislation.

She worked against mining and agriculture and without question cost Bill Shorten crucial votes in central Queensland at the federal poll.

Telling miners to re-skill was the political own goal of 2019.

But Ms Trad was ballsy, the one who formidably took on former premier Campbell Newman and played a pivotal role in the miracle Labor victory in 2015.

She referred to getting under Newman's skin as "easy".


Jackie Trad in 2015
Jackie Trad in 2015


With victory came the spoils, including the deputy premier's job and ultimately, after Curtis Pitt was knifed, she assumed the role she had always wanted, treasurer.

It gave her the keys to the kingdom and, with her Left faction running the party, the Cabinet and the Caucus, she was the most powerful person in Queensland.

But being powerful doesn't necessarily buy political judgment. And as Ms Trad increasingly wielded that power, she made decisions based on a left-wing ideology that most Queenslanders find distasteful and regressive.

Queensland is about entrepreneurism, not socialism.

She showed terrible judgment when her husband bought an investment house on the Cross River Rail route, a project she was leading.

She compounded the mistake by saying she didn't know he was buying it. Mmm.


Campbell Newman after his election defeat
Campbell Newman after his election defeat


The Crime and Corruption Commission said it didn't have the power to prosecute her, but recommended changing the law, so the next minister caught not updating their pecuniary interest register would face criminal charges.

The latest CCC probe on the appointment of a school principal in her electorate is another example of the hubris and arrogance that dominates the thinking of the Labor Left.

Prima facie, it's not a good look.

A mere six months before an election, it's a distraction.

Who would have thought Ms Trad would stand down on a matter of principle?

In a puff piece in the Australian Financial Review after Labor won in 2015, Ms Trad was quoted as saying: "(Campbell) Newman was a megalomaniac. There were no checks or balances, The ultimate checks and balance is at the ballot box, and people very much expressed their preference at that time."

Five years on, it is almost as if she was looking in the mirror and a crystal ball at the same time.



Originally published as How Trad became everything she stood against