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GENERAL PROPERTY

QLD deputy premier refers herself to corruption watchdog

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QUEENSLAND Deputy Premier Jackie Trad has referred herself to the state’s Crime and Corruption Commission over the Cross River Rail property scandal.

In a statement, Trad said she made the decision to refer herself to resolve the matter and she refutes the allegations.

Last week News Ltd reported that the Deputy Premier purchased a $695,000 home along the route of $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project, which she had ministerial responsibility.

The property was purchased in March but not declared on the Queensland Parliament’s register of members’ interests within a month, under the rules.

Trad was cleared by the Integrity Commissioner but LNP Opposition leader Deb Frecklington, who referred the matter to the CCC, called for the release of the advice, which the government has refused to do.

“The Integrity Commissioner has advised against releasing her advice publicly while this matter is under consideration,” Trad said.

“The matters raised in recent days need to be clearly resolved once and for all. I continue to refute the allegations made by the LNP.

“I want this resolved as quickly as possible and so I have decided to refer this to the CCC to consider whether it’s a matter that requires investigation. While the matter is being considered by the CCC, I have undertaken to remove myself from any decision making involving Cross River Rail,” she added.

In response, Frecklington said “It is no coincidence this move came less than 24 hours before Jackie Trad was due to be grilled in Parliament,”

“I had already referred Jackie Trad to the CCC four days ago because of this blatant breach of integrity rules,”

The opposition leader said there is a potential the Deputy Premier could see an increase in value or rezoning of properties close to the rail project.

Trad said she would be willing to sell the property for same value.

“I made clear my intention to sell the property when the outcome of the CCC consideration is known,” Trad said.