Sorry, Jackie. No one sends texts like that

HUBBIE: "Darling, did you want artichoke heart or haricot vert with the pinot grigio tonight? And picked up a little house btw. Utter s - t box … just under $700k. Steal. Lol!"

JT: "Yolo! Can you grab me an almond latte too Thx :)"

For the record, this is not the official conversation between Queensland Deputy Premier Jackie Trad and her insurance lawyer husband Damien van Brunschot when he allegedly informed her by text message that he had bought the three-bedroom deceased estate that has been hammering nails into the Labour Government's coffin this week.

But it may as well be.

For what has struck me most from 'housegate' was not Trad's arrogant audacity that a "five minute" Sunday phone call on a private number to the Crime and Corruption Commission boss Alan MacSporran was acceptable.

What is most alarming is the apparent disconnection from reality that someone can treat buying a house like it's a random item chucked in the trolley from Aldi's centre aisle.

The smug flippancy is staggering

Close to transport … Jackie Trad’s investment property. Picture: AAP Image/Josh Woning
Close to transport … Jackie Trad’s investment property. Picture: AAP Image/Josh Woning

In my household there's more financial concern and spousal negotiation over how many avocados we can afford for the week.

But clearly not at Trad's house (sorry, houses).

The Courier-Mail exclusively reported last week that Trad bought the dilapidated cottage in Woolloongabba in her electorate in March.

It's no Ascot mansion _ skinny palm trees out the front, chipped vinyl floors in the kitchen, Hills hoist out the back.

But what makes this unassuming Queenslander so important is its proximity to the Cross River Rail project _ a project Trad is in charge of.

As the minister responsible for the $5.4 billion rail line, Trad is exposed to confidential information about the project. Further investigation will look into whether that may have swayed the decision to buy the house so favourably positioned on the route.

Of course, it's an obvious fact that any house near a train line will increase in value, as Trad has pointed out.

Shark shower curtain is a nice touch. Picture: Supplied
Shark shower curtain is a nice touch. Picture: Supplied

But Trad is also in the loop on private information about timings of construction, estimated value of improvements and any further potential services to come.

The house is also in the catchment of the new high school being built in Trad's South Brisbane electorate.

Compounding the scandal further is that Trad failed to declare the property purchase within a month, as required by the Parliament of Queensland Act. That has since been corrected.

Trad has firmly denied that the cottage poses an integrity problem, saying "this property was purchased a long time after decisions had been made in relation to these projects".

She has also announced she will sell the house that has been used as emergency accommodation for people left homeless by a boarding house fire in South Brisbane in May.

As though being the Angelina Jolie of West End will somehow rectify the scandal?

It all just seems too convenient that a minister stands to profit from her own project.

It's hard to accept it was just a coincidence or an accident.

But it's Trad's glib shrug off, claiming that the purchase was done by her husband (through the company they co-own) and she knew nothing until he texted her that has really raised the state's collective eyebrow.

"I was not in the market for a property," Trad said.

Does a politician truly believe that the voting public are devoid of scepticism?

Does the Treasurer of our great state really expect us to accept that she has no idea of her own major purchases?

This is a woman who has positioned herself as a person of the working class, representing the voices of the everyday man and woman on the street.

I can assure you, these people are not giving their significant other a quick heads up they've bought a house via text.

They are struggling to scrape together a deposit to even buy a home.

They are trapped by rising rents, stagnant wage growth, rising bills, an unaffordable cost of living and an unemployment rate of 6.1 per cent.

And forget blaming avocado on toast for their failure to get a foot on the property ladder.

In order to save a 20 per cent deposit on Trad's cottage, you would have to give up 6,955 avocado toasts.

Perhaps the outcome will be that the Deputy Premier has done nothing wrong in buying the cottage.

But the damage has already been done through Trad's irrational excuses that show a total disjunction from the lives of her constituents.

We need an urgent reassurance from our politicians that they're operating in the realms of the same reality as the average Queenslander.

Because text messaging a house purchase sure isn't.

Lucy Carne is editor of RendezView

@lucycarne

Trad’s property is a renovator’s delight. Picture: Supplied.
Trad’s property is a renovator’s delight. Picture: Supplied.