Politics
Politics

LNP’s latest move turns up heat on Trad

TREASURER Jackie Trad could face a wider probe into her contentious property purchase after the LNP referred concerns about a new school, located 1km away, to the state's corruption watchdog.

The Courier-Mail can reveal the Opposition has written to the Crime and Corruption Commission, alleging a conflict of interest relating to the Woolloongabba house purchase and the approval of the nearby Inner City South State Secondary College the following month.

Ms Trad is already facing questions about the property's proximity to her pet project, Cross River Rail, and key Cabinet decisions after the purchase.

Government insiders expect the watchdog will make a decision on whether to formally investigate Ms Trad within days, which could trigger the powerful Left faction figure to temporarily retreat to the back bench.

The integrity scandal has engulfed the Government for weeks and yesterday descended into a tit-for-tat slanging match between Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and former premier Peter Beattie.

 

 

After a thinly veiled swipe by Mr Beattie about how honesty should be important to Labor governments, Ms Palaszczuk suggested he should stick to his new day job in rugby league.

"Peter Beattie: He has been a premier of this state," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"He is now head of the NRL; I hope that he can put forward a case for Queensland to get an NRL Grand Final.

"I think he should be focused on that, frankly."

Ms Trad this week staunchly maintained she had done nothing wrong, after admitting to failing to declare the property as required and promising to sell it immediately after getting Integrity Commission advice about potential conflicts of interest.

The Woolloongabba home was bought in late March, a month before the Cabinet Budget Review Committee gave final approval to the $120 million new school in Ms Trad's electorate.

 

Opposition frontbencher Jarrod Bleijie
Opposition frontbencher Jarrod Bleijie

 

Education Minister Grace Grace revealed during Budget Estimates her department did not attend the CBRC meeting to put forward the final documentation.

A spokesman for Ms Trad's office said yesterday funding decisions about the new school had been made two years ago and were publicly known at the time.

"Location and catchment decisions in relation to the new school were made last year and were publicly known at the time," he said.

"The Deputy Premier strenuously denies any wrongdoing in relation to this matter."

Opposition frontbencher Jarrod Bleijie wrote to the CCC claiming the timing - including a press release issued by Ms Trad on March 29 spruiking the new school - and location put her in a position of a real conflict of interest.

Ms Grace, who has overseen plans for the school, yesterday revealed she had not been aware of Ms Trad's property purchase until it was reported in The Courier-Mail.

Ms Palaszczuk has also admitted she was unaware until questions were asked.