Trad ‘fleeing’ scandal to spruik state
JACKIE Trad will jet out on a trade mission on Friday to sell Queensland as an investment destination to the world as the integrity scandal involving her Woolloongabba property purchase continues to widen.
The Courier-Mail can reveal the Deputy Premier has been given a green light to travel to London, Paris and New York as part of the annual Queensland Treasury Corporation roadshow despite questions over her own investment decisions.
The revelations last night sparked Opposition demands for Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to ground her deputy and send another minister on the week-long trip to represent Queensland.
"Jackie Trad shouldn't be fleeing the country while she is embroiled in an integrity crisis over an investment property," Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said.
"Given the Labor Treasurer's integrity is in tatters, she is the last person who should be spruiking about investment in Queensland."
It comes after Ms Trad revealed during yesterday's Budget estimates hearings that she phoned Crime and Corruption Commission boss Alan MacSporran on Sunday to have a private discussion before forwarding her controversial purchase to the watchdog for investigation the next day.
"I rang the head of the CCC to advise him that I would be providing information in relation to this matter and that I would be fully co-operating with whatever assessment or the outcome of the assessment that the CCC would undertake," Ms Trad said. " In no way shape or form was I suggesting or inferring a particular outcome."
The call came two days after Ms Frecklington had forwarded the same allegations to the CCC.
The scandal involves Ms Trad's purchase of a three-bedroom house near the proposed Boggo Rd station being built under the Cross River Rail project which she has ministerial responsibility for.
Ms Trad has promised to sell the property but denied impropriety, saying the route for Cross River Rail had been public knowledge for years.
However, The Courier-Mail revealed yesterday a rival project bidder proposed moving the proposed station away from Ms Trad's investment to a location near the Princess Alexandria hospital to provide a travel solution to staff, patients and visitors and to overcome technical issues.
But the proposal was rejected by the Palaszczuk Government despite being the favoured option of the Cross River Rail Authority and the Department of Transport.
Questions about the alternative station and the Government's decision were repeatedly thwarted during the Budget estimates hearings with the boss of the project saying the matters were commercial-in-confidence.