Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) has cleared the state’s deputy premier Jackie Trad of wrongdoing over an investment property she purchased near the future site of a Cross River Rail station, but responsibility for the project has been transferred to another minister.
The CCC on September 6 said it would not conduct a formal investigation into allegations Trad had engaged in corrupt conduct in relation to her decision making power over the Cross River Rail project, as well as the development of the Inner City South State Secondary College.
On July 17 Trad disclosed the March purchase of an investment property in Woolloongabba. The property is likely to increase in value due to both the rail and school developments.
But the CCC says it has concluded there is “no evidence or information” which “supported a reasonable suspicion of corrupt conduct” by Trad.
As a result, the CCC will not conduct a formal corruption investigation.
However the CCC did make five recommendations to Parliament as a result of the incident, pertaining to Cabinet processes and transparency.
“Properly dealing with conflicts of interest is integral to the effective and efficient functioning of the public sector,” the CCC said. “The Queensland community expects all people involved in public sector administration to adhere to the highest standards of integrity in dealing with conflicts of interest.”
Despite Trad being cleared of wrongdoing, Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has decided to transfer responsibility for the Cross River Rail project to tourism industry and innovation minister Kate Jones.
Trad, quoted by Fairfax, said she was relieved to be cleared of formal wrongdoing, but recognised she had made an error.
“It doesn’t change I made a mistake,” Trad said. “The premier is right to expect the highest standards. Having made that mistake, having put the premier and my colleagues in that position, and also I think giving rise to my concerns from Queenslanders, I am deeply disappointed and I’m disappointed in myself and very sorry for that.”