Jackie Trad and Woolloongabba property
Jackie Trad and Woolloongabba property

Trad’s 16 home truths we need to know

IT'S D-Day for Treasurer Jackie Trad.

The Crime and Corruption Commission will today announce whether it will investigate Trad's contentious Woolloongabba property purchase near her pet project - Cross River Rail.

In all likelihood, the watchdog will find nothing that occurred falls within its remit of official corruption.

However the central issues will be whether the powerful Deputy Premier's repeated failure to disclose her property purchase breached the ministerial code of conduct, and what Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is prepared to do about it.

Jackie Trad at Parliament
Jackie Trad at Parliament

It has been 51 days since The Courier-Mail broke this story.

And throughout this sorry saga, Trad has ducked and weaved critical questions, refusing to explain while the CCC examines.

She's dismissed it all as a smear campaign over a paperwork error, admitted error and promised to sell the property and declared she'd done nothing wrong.

And this week she was the victim, complaining about a "void" in her side of the story and committing to tell it when the time was right.

Trad's right. There is a void. But only because she created it.

16 questions Queenslanders deserve answers to

Did any discussions occur before or after your husband informed you via text message that together through VBT Investments you and he had purchased a $700,000 investment property in Woolloongabba?

Trad has insisted her only prior knowledge of the property purchase was through a text message that came while she was busily preparing the state budget. Did no discussion occur beforehand? What did she respond to this text message?

The Woolloongabba investment house owned Jackie Trad
The Woolloongabba investment house owned Jackie Trad

 

Did you ever discuss the benefits of Cross River Rail and the expected property value uplift near new stations detailed in the secret business case for the $7 billion project with your husband?

Trad has insisted any investor could have speculated on property based on information in the public domain about Cross River Rail. But she had access to much more detailed material that has not been released.

 

How did you find time to use the property as a refuge for the Vulture Street boarding house fire victims but not find time to declare your new property on Parliament's Register of Member's Interests until contacted by The Courier-Mail?

The house title was registered on May 1, the day after the Vulture Street boarding house fire. Trad opened the doors to give victims somewhere to stay. But she didn't declare the property within 30 days as required. Why?

Inside the Woolloongabba investment house owned Jackie Trad
Inside the Woolloongabba investment house owned Jackie Trad

 

Did you declare your conflict at the Cabinet Budget Review Committee meeting that decided the route of Cross River Rail on April 3, seven days after the contract was signed for your new property?

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has revealed she only knew about the house when The Courier-Mail asked questions. Trad has refused to say what occurred in Cabinet. The Ministerial Code of Conduct states "Ministers will advise the Premier should they find themselves in a situation of a conflict of interest".

 

Did you recuse yourself from this meeting as required by the Ministerial Code of Conduct when a Cabinet member has a direct conflict of interest?

The code also states "If those interests potentially are relevant to a matter before Cabinet or a Cabinet Committee, the Minister will tender advice at the meeting and withdraw from the Cabinet Room".

 

Did you declare a conflict or recuse yourself from Cabinet meetings concerning the Government's decision to invest in a $100 million secondary college near your new investment property?

See above.

 

Why did the Government reject the advice of departmental experts and chose Boggo Road, a site closer to your property, for a new Cross River Rail station location?

This is a critical question. Trad claimed anyone could have purchased a property near Cross River Rail because the route had been locked in years ago. But the internal discussions show altering the station locations was being discussed.

 

Why did the Government reject the advice of two of the three CRR bidders to shift the Boggo Road station to the Princess Alexandra Hospital so it could better service staff, patients and their loved ones?

Two rival bidders, completely independent of each other, decided the PA Hospital was a better location than Boggo Road. So why not go with that option?

Queensland Treasurer Jackie Trad
Queensland Treasurer Jackie Trad

 

Will you publicly release, as promised, the advice received from the Integrity Commissioner that warned of the need to sell the property?

This advice has not been released after the matter was referred to the CCC. Fair enough. But it should be released today.

 

Why has the property not been put up for sale?

If the Integrity Commissioner advised an immediate sale why hasn't this occurred? Surely, the CCC referral doesn't prevent resolving conflicts of interest.

 

You've promised to sell the property for no profit but what happens to the difference if it fetches more than the $695,500 you paid for it? Will you donate it to charity?

How do you tell a buyer that the price on a property is capped? What if two buyers want to pay more?

 

Why did you ring Crime and Corruption Commission chair Alan MacSporran before formally referring yourself for investigation the following day?

Courtesy call? There is no version of this conversation that is appropriate. The matter was already before the CCC after the Opposition referred it.

Crime and Corruption Commission chairperson Alan MacSporran
Crime and Corruption Commission chairperson Alan MacSporran

 

Why have you not stepped aside from your ministerial position while this matter is under assessment by the CCC?

Politically, this issue has been damaging for the Palaszczuk Government. Questions about trade trips and who would act as premier in Palaszczuk's absence would not have dogged the administration had Trad stood aside.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk

 

Do you believe the Premier should sack you or strip you of some responsibilities if you have breached the ministerial code of conduct?

What's the point of a code of conduct if it is not enforced? If Trad is found to have breached the code but given the all clear, the code is pointless.

 

Why did you believe Newman government ministers should resign for breaching the code but you have not resigned yourself?

LNP ministers Bruce Flegg and Ros Bates both left Cabinet after accusations they breached the code. On both occasions Trad called for this to occur.

 

Will you be purchasing any further properties near Cross River Rail stations?

Probably unwise, but given all of the above, who knows.