Federal Labor split on Jackie Trad return
POLARISING political figure Jackie Trad remains silent about a speculated federal tilt, as Queensland Labor figures warned they did not need to "deal with the Jackie problem".
Fears the former Deputy Premer running federally would "restart the billboards" campaign that dogged the party at the state election and damaged its electoral prospects in the regions have already caused backlash within the party.
Some suggested the federal LNP would have a field day with Ms Trad's electoral unpopularity, urging Queenslanders in the must-win state to block the "anti-jobs", "dodgy" figure from a federal ministerial job.
Others said she would be welcome in the Caucus in Canberra, but questioned if Ms Trad was interested in a revived political career after a bruising end to her time in George Street.
Union left-faction heavyweight Gary Bullock reignited speculation about Ms Trad switching to federal politics, first revealed by The Courier-Mail in May last year, saying the left unions would "do whatever to assist" her return if she wanted it and that "we need more people of her calibre in federal parliament".
Brisbane, Moreton and Longman have been speculated as possible lower house seats for her, although they would be uphill battles to win.
Labor sources from both the left and right suggested it was highly unlikely for the left's Senator Murray Watt to be rolled from the top spot on the ticket and that it did not have the numbers or desire to remove right figure Senator Anthony Chisholm.
A senior Queensland Labor right-faction source said she would not be able to secure a Senate spot without intervention from the national executive and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese backing it.
"The question is, what is the transactional cost for the rest of federal Labor. Are the billboards going up again, how does it impact Flynn and Capricornia?" they said.
"(Matt) Canavan and George Christensen would be licking their chops at the idea if she ran federally.
"She's deeply divisive, deeply unpopular in the electorate.
"Now is not the right time for her or for federal Labor to have to deal with 'the Jackie problem'."
Another described her as "politically dead".
But others welcomed her as a welcome addition to the Caucus who would bring a much needed experience.
"I haven't heard she definitely wants to go back into politics," one Labor left source said.
Running in a seat like Brisbane, Ms Trad would be able to put up a challenge to the LNP's Trevor Evans, but could cost seats in the regions.
While Longman has been floated, one Labor source said "Jackie Trad really isn't interested in representing Caboolture or Beenleigh and they're not really interested in her".
Ms Trad did not return phone calls yesterday.
Contacted for comment, Mr Albanese's office referred questions of preselection to the Queensland Labor branch.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who has not spoken to her former deputy since the election, said she hadn't seen reporting on Ms Trad's potential move to the federal arena.
Asked what she thought of the idea, she said: "She's very experienced."
A statement issued by the LNP said the suggestion of Ms Trad resurrecting her political career "should send a chill down the spine of every Queenslander".
Originally published as Federal Labor split on Jackie Trad return