Monday 26th Aug, 2019

Trad refers Woolloongabba home purchase to corruption watchdog

Photo: Alan Tudge MP / Twitter

Jackie Trad will step aside from Cross River Rail decision making while awaiting a decision from the corruption watchdog after it was revealed she bought a house near the rail project’s future Woolloongabba station precinct.

Trad was targeted last week by the state opposition over her undisclosed purchase of a three-bedroom home in Woolloongabba in March, reportedly for $700,000.

The house stands to increase in value as the Cross River Rail project delivers better public transport to the area. A new school is also set to open nearby, according to reports.

Trad, the state’s treasurer and deputy premier, has denied all allegations of wrongdoing, but says she will sell the house once the matter is settled, tweeting she would sell for the same price it was purchased for.

She said on July 22 she had referred her case to the state’s Crime and Corruption Commission, and would await a decision from the CCC on whether an investigation would go ahead.

Trad also said she had received advice from the Integrity Commissioner, but the advice will not be made public at this time.

“The matters raised in recent days need to be clearly resolved once and for all. I continue to refute the allegations made by the LNP,” Trad said in a short statement.

“While the matter is being considered by the CCC, I have undertaken to remove myself from any decision making involving Cross River Rail.”

The decision means Trad is likely to miss estimates hearings set to take place this week in Queensland Parliament, where the matter is certain to be brought up by the opposition.

State opposition leader Deb Frecklington said Trad was using the CCC referral as a “smoke screen to dodge questions during estimates”.

“The Palaszczuk Labor government’s integrity crisis is growing by the day. The premier needs to finally show some leadership and immediately sack Jackie Trad,” Frecklington said. “The premier must also release the Integrity Commissioner’s advice, which she received on Friday.”

Shadow treasurer Tim Mander also called for Jackie Trad to be ‘stood aside’, tweeting: “This is the person responsible for the Cross River Rail … outrageous! What other financial interests has [Jackie Trad] not disclosed?”

The opposition labelled Trad’s promise to sell the house as an “admission of guilt.”

Cross River Rail is a $5.4 billion project to deliver a new 10.2-kilometre rail line through the heart of Brisbane, from Dutton Park to Bowen Hills. It includes five new high-capacity stations, including one at Woolloongabba, two kilometres from the CBD.

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