Treasurer forced to offload investment property
JACKIE Trad has been forced to sell the property she bought along the route of the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project, just days after The Courier-Mail revealed she failed to publicly declare the purchase.
The Queensland Treasurer yesterday conceded she needed to sell the $695,500 Woolloongabba home for the same price she purchased it after receiving advice from the Integrity Commissioner.
Ms Trad refused to release the advice, saying she had asked for further clarification, however her decision to sell up came a day after she dismissed suggestions she had a conflict of interest.
"Today I received advice from the Integrity Commissioner, and will continue to do so," she said.
"In order to remove any doubt, I will sell the property at the same price it was purchased for.
"Until that time, it will continue to house victims of the Vulture St fire."
The house has been used as emergency accommodation for people left homeless by a boarding house fire in South Brisbane in May.
Her decision sparked Opposition calls for Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to sack Ms Trad from Cabinet.
Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington likened the scandal as "akin to insider trading".
Shadow treasurer Tim Mander said yesterday it showed Ms Trad's judgment was deeply flawed.
"She does not understand the meaning of integrity," he said.
"Jackie Trad simply cannot be trusted to do the right thing."
The Courier-Mail revealed Ms Trad and her husband signed a contract for the three-bedroom home in late March, and the sale was registered with Queensland's Lands Title Office on May 1.
However, the purchase was not declared on State Parliament's Register of Member's Interest within a month as required under the Parliament of Queensland Act.
The home is a short distance from the future Boggo Rd train station to be constructed as part of the Cross River Rail project, for which Ms Trad has ministerial responsibility.
The revelation sparked allegations Ms Trad was trying to profit from Queensland's biggest infrastructure project and Opposition demands for her to be stripped of responsibility for overseeing its construction.
A property industry source said the house could be worth "either side of $1 million" by the time the project was finished, while another said it could more than double in value.
Ms Frecklington has referred the case to the Crime and Corruption Commission.
Ms Palaszczuk has refused to criticise the powerful Left-faction leader however several senior Labor figures were aghast at Ms Trad's decision to buy property likely to rise in value as a result of a Government decision.
"I have spoken with the Deputy Premier and she has spoken with the Integrity Commissioner and that advice is coming back today and I have asked to see that advice," Ms Palaszczuk said.
Ms Trad said she had asked for further advice from Integrity Commissioner Nikola Stepanov and would release it in full.