Back to earth as Trad exits tower of power

 

JACKIE Trad's belongings have been unceremoniously carted from Queensland's "tower of power" amid Opposition calls to widen the principal corruption probe to another cabinet minister, and revelations her former director-general had been demoted.

Indigenous artwork and framed front pages of The Courier-Mail from Ms Trad's tumultuous time as treasurer were yesterday shifted from her plush ministerial office at 1 William St to her West End electorate office.

The removal of Ms Trad's effects was a graphic demonstration of her downfall, and comes amid Labor speculation over whether she will renominate for seat of South Brisbane, with sitting MPs ordered to complete their paperwork by Monday.

Ms Trad was yesterday seen in talks with lobbyist and Labor Left faction player Evan Moorhead, who is a close friend of the former treasurer, with the pair sharing a coffee on a park bench.

She was also spotted collecting a blank canvas from a local art supplies store.

Ms Trad committed to recontest her seat on Saturday after the Crime and Corruption Commission confirmed it was investigation allegations she interfered with a school principal selection process however this was before her permanent removal from the ministry.

 

Member for South Brisbane and former treasurer Jackie Trad back in her West End electorate office yesterday. Picture: Tertius Pickard
Member for South Brisbane and former treasurer Jackie Trad back in her West End electorate office yesterday. Picture: Tertius Pickard

 

New Deputy Premier Steven Miles said yesterday he was confident Ms Trad would still have a "long and substantial" career in state politics if she won her seat on October 31

However Mr Miles would not be drawn on whether Ms Trad's removal from the ministry would improve Labor's electoral prospects in regional Queensland, as suggested by some party stalwarts.

"I'm not going to get into that, I am confident though that the team that we now have in place will work together very well and will ensure that right across the state we have a focus on what is the challenge for every government in the world right now - the health response to COVID-19 and the economic response to COVID-19," he said.

However the Opposition has called for the CCC to detail whether Education Minister Grace Grace will be required to give evidence or provide information as part of the investigation into the recruitment process for a principal role at a new school in Ms Trad's electorate.

The watchdog is investigating why the preferred candidate missed out and the selection process was restarted after the meeting with Ms Trad, who has denied any wrongdoing.

 

Jackie Trad with factional powerbroker Evan Moorhead. Picture: Tertius Pickard
Jackie Trad with factional powerbroker Evan Moorhead. Picture: Tertius Pickard

 

A piece of artwork is relocated to the electorate office. Picture: Tertius Pickard
A piece of artwork is relocated to the electorate office. Picture: Tertius Pickard

 

"The Member for South Brisbane has stated publicly that she met candidates at the request of the Department of Education," Opposition education spokesman Jarrod Bleijie said in his letter to the CCC.

"I submit that such request would not have been made by the Department of Education without the Minister for Education's knowledge and consent.

"Accordingly, it goes without saying that the Minister for Education may be implicated in this investigation."

Ms Grace hit back, describing Mr Bleijie's letter as nothing more than a desperate search for a headline.

"As I have always said, the appointment of a principal is an operational matter independently handled by the Department of Education without involvement from myself or my office," she said.

Meanwhile, the Government confirmed Under Treasurer Frankie Carroll, who returned to the public sector to work with Ms Trad, would become director-general of Regional Development and Manufacturing under Cabinet's lowest-ranked minister, Glenn Butcher.

"The Premier places great importance on the regions and the manufacturing industry," a spokesman said.

"And that is why Mr Carroll has been asked to do this very important job."

Originally published as Back to earth as Trad exits tower of power


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