Trad: ‘My husband has been demonised’

 

JACKIE Trad has given a contrite apology to her husband over the Woolloongabba property scandal that damaged her political career, while insisting the house was "never a secret".

Speaking in support of the new integrity laws inspired by her failure to disclose the property purchase, the former deputy premier and treasurer said her husband Damien Van Brunschot bore no responsibility.

Ms Trad said she wanted to put on record her sincere apology to her husband, saying he had been "unjustifiably demonised through this whole episode".

"For that and to him, I simply say sorry," she said.

"I am so proud of my husband.

"He was raised in a single income household in Toowoomba.

"The success that he has achieved in his life has only been possible through his own hard work and sheer determination."

Jackie Trad speaking in Parliament this morning. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled
Jackie Trad speaking in Parliament this morning. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled

Last July, The Courier-Mail revealed Ms Trad failed to update her register of interests concerning the $695,500 home, which sparked an integrity crisis that damaged the Palaszczuk Government.

"It has been misconstrued in the media that my husband neglected to tell me about the house which is why I failed to disclose it but let me make this really clear - Damien divested his interests, he took the money and he made an investment decision and I was not part of that decision," she told Parliament today.

"But of course he told me after he had purchased the house that he had purchased it so any failure to disclose formally within the timeframe was not his fault, it was my fault

and I have apologised repeatedly for that.

"Damien bears no responsibility for this failure, it was completely mine and I apologise to him for any pain that this has caused him."

Ms Trad pointed out that late declarations "are common in this place".

The South Brisbane MP said she was six weeks late in formally finalising the declaration of the property, but had provided information verbally and in written form to the Clerk that she had not signed a third form.

"This was a six week lag," she said.

"And again I apologise to the House.

"But as the CCC found, there was not only no corruption, but there was no evidence of dishonesty.

"There was absolutely no evidence of dishonesty because I did not act in a dishonest way."

Jackie Trad speaking in Parliament this morning. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled
Jackie Trad speaking in Parliament this morning. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled

Ms Trad insisted the Woolloongabba house was "never a secret".

"In fact after the boarding house fire in West End in May last year, a number of residents were made homeless," she said.

"This property was made available to them rent free - a whole family - to live there until they could find enough means to get back on their feet and find another property for themselves.

"So can I say this was never a secret.

"And for those opposite to paint this in the way that they have I think goes to what their real motivation is and that is mudslinging."

Ms Trad said the LNP should think about the implications of the CCC's recommendations for their own MPs.

The CCC has previously suggested that it should be a strict liability offence for MPs if they did not properly update their register, removing the dishonest intent requirement.

"I think the Attorney-General has presented to this House a fair balance in relation to these issues," Ms Trad said.

"There must be intention, there must be deceit and there must be dishonesty."

Ms Trad did not speak to issues about whether she informed Cabinet she owned a property near a newly planned Cross River Rail train station which she was overseeing in her role as the minister for the project.

Originally published as Trad: 'My husband has been demonised'



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