Phone call deepens Trad’s house horrors
JACKIE Trad's private conversations with the chairman of the Crime and Corruption Commission are set to be investigated by the powerful parliamentary body charged with oversight of the watchdog.
The Treasurer and Member for South Brisbane yesterday admitted her call to CCC boss Alan MacSporran on Sunday about her controversial Woolloongabba property purchase was not the first time she had called him.
Ms Trad's admission sparked calls from the Opposition and civil libertarians for Mr MacSporran to recuse himself from any investigation into whether Ms Trad's purchase of a property near the Cross River Rail project was improper.
The spectre of another probe into the integrity scandal that has engulfed the Labor Government came as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk insisted she had no problem with Ms Trad leaving on Friday to sell Queensland as an investment destination on a week-long trade mission.
"There's no one else that can go," she said.
Ms Trad yesterday continued to distance herself from the $700,000 home along the route of Cross River Rail, saying it was her husband's decision to purchase the property through the company they co-own and he had informed her via text message.
"I was not in the market for a property," she said.
And she shrugged off her phone call to Mr MacSporran, saying she had done it before "about a Budget matter".
"It was a phone conversation that lasted five minutes," she said of Sunday's call.
However Australian Council of Civil Liberties president Terry O'Gorman said there would be a "great deal of scepticism" towards Ms Trad's claim it was a harmless "courtesy call".
Mr O'Gorman called for Mr MacSporran to recuse himself from any further involvement in the CCC's assessment of the property purchase, and for an investigation by the parliamentary crime and corruption committee.
"The whole circumstances of this call by the Deputy Premier have to be examined and we say that is probably best done by the parliamentary committee that supervised the CCC," he said.
Shadow treasurer Tim Mander joined calls for Mr MacSporran to recuse himself.
"It is totally inappropriate for anybody, but particularly the deputy premier of this state, after a matter has been referred to the CCC about her, to ring the CCC on the weekend," he said.
Mr MacSporran yesterday confirmed he had been contacted by Ms Trad, but declined to comment further.
Meanwhile, the Government closed ranks around the other integrity crisis dogging the administration concerning a $270,000 handout to a company part-owned by the Premier's chief-of-staff David Barbagallo.
Ms Palaszczuk said she had ordered an audit, and refused to release Mr Barbagallo's pecuniary interests statement.