Jackie Trad unseated in South Brisbane — a bruising election loss for a party high-flyer

Queensland’s controversial former deputy premier Jackie Trad has lost her inner-city seat of South Brisbane in the state election.

With 67 per cent of the vote counted, her Greens challenger Amy MacMahon has picked up 55 per cent of the vote.

Ms MacMahon will join Greens MP Michael Berkman — who has retained his Brisbane seat of Maiwar — as the second Greens representative to join the Queensland Parliament.

ABC chief election analyst Antony Green said Ms Trad cannot win in South Brisbane from second place.

“There’s no way the Greens are going to finish behind Jackie Trad,” he said.

Ms MacMahon said voters had responded to the Greens’ positive vision.

“This result tonight in South Brisbane — we’ve also seen big swings in McConnel and Cooper — this sends a message to the political establishment that the time when mining corporations are able to dictate to our political system who gets what, is completely over,” she said as supporters cheered her.

“This time we’re going to have Greens MPs in Parliament fighting for everyday Queenslanders.

“We’ll be fighting for things like 100 per cent publicly-owned clean energy, we’ll be fighting for free public transport and housing.”

‘A loss to the Labor Party’

Ms Trad did not invite the media to her election night event.

On Saturday evening, she praised her supporters on social media.


“My heart is so full because of the support I’ve received from locals, volunteers, Labor Party members, friends and of course, my beautiful family,” Ms Trad said.

“I’m so grateful to each and every person who has helped make a difference, not just to my campaign, but to our community as well.

“Together, we’ve achieved so much, for South Brisbane and for Queensland. Thank you,” Ms Trad said

Deputy Premier Steven Miles blamed the LNP’s decision to direct preferences to the Greens above Labor.

“It’s obviously a sad result for Jackie, but it’s a result of the LNPs decision to elect more Greens to the Parliament and they’re going to have to answer for that I think,” he said.

“You will need to answer for every position Amy MacMahon takes, every position Amy MacMahon takes will be because you got her elected,” Mr Miles said.

The LNP’s Deputy Leader Tim Mander said Labor had lost votes to the Greens.

“The voters have made their choice and as you have rightly said, the primary vote is up for the Greens, not just there but in a number of seats, at the expense of the Labor Party,” he said

Labor senator for Queensland Anthony Chisholm played down speculation Ms Trad would seek a spot in the Senate.

“She is a loss to the Parliament, she is a loss to the Labor Party,” he said.

“She achieved great things as the Member for South Brisbane and as deputy premier while she was there and as treasurer.”

A party high-flyer

Jackie Trad had been a key figure in the Queensland Labor Party since Annastacia Palaszczuk won office in 2015.

Her links to the party have run deep — she worked as a ministerial advisor in the Beattie and Bligh governments before winning a by-election in 2012.

Her predecessor in the seat of South Brisbane, Anna Bligh, resigned after Labor’s election drubbing by the LNP under Campbell Newman.

Ms Trad took on a heavy workload, at various times carrying ministerial portfolios including: Infrastructure, Planning, Transport, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Treasury and the role of deputy premier.

Former Deputy Premier Jackie Trad endured multiple probes by the CCC.(AAP: Dan Peled)

But controversy raged in 2019 when the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) was asked to examine Ms Trad’s purchase of an investment property in Woolloongabba, close to the Cross River Rail project which she was overseeing.

The CCC ultimately found “no evidence … that supported a reasonable suspicion of corrupt conduct”.

But it also stated that “failing to declare and properly manage a conflict of interest creates a corruption risk”.

The frontbencher was stripped of her Cross River Rail responsibilities.

2020 brought another watchdog probe, this time over the appointment of a school principal.

The LNP had raised concerns she improperly interfered in the selection of a principal for the new Brisbane South State Secondary College.

Ms Trad was cleared of corruption charges, but the controversy was too much in an election year and she resigned from the ministry.

A proud progressive from Labor’s left faction, Jackie Trad has cited the decriminalisation of abortion and the path to treaty with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people as key achievements.

She also instigated major projects including Cross River Rail and the new high school at Dutton Park.

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Why is Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk distancing herself from her former deputy Jackie Trad?

For those who follow Queensland politics, there are two words that are guaranteed to spark a passionate response — Jackie Trad.

Many in the LNP see her as a symbol of everything they despise — outspoken feminist, old-style leftist, Labor apparatchik.

But the former deputy premier is also one of Labor’s most experienced ministers and one of the party’s strongest parliamentary performers, with a sharp wit and willingness for a political fight.

The announcement yesterday by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to rule out Ms Trad’s return to the frontbench is Labor’s brutal admission their former star is a luxury they can no longer afford.

The fact the news was delivered in such a clumsy way — less than 24 hours after Ms Palaszczuk refused to speculate about the future of her former deputy — is a sure sign of nervousness in Labor ranks.

Ms Trad’s frontbench career had effectively been in limbo since she resigned as Queensland treasurer and deputy premier in May after the state’s Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) announced it would investigate her alleged interference with a school principal appointment.

Although eventually cleared, the Member for South Brisbane never completely threw off the sniff of controversy.

The CCC found on two occasions Ms Trad’s decision-making was “inappropriate”, and she admitted to making a mistake last year over her failure to declare an investment property within the proper time limit.

Other politicians have made worse mistakes and still survived, but the LNP never let the Member for South Brisbane out of their sights, labelling her “dodgy Jackie”.

Despite no longer being part of Labor’s leadership team, the LNP continued to target Ms Trad in their campaign material.

At times, the Opposition’s criticism of Ms Trad appeared personal, but the LNP argued their polling showed the former deputy was electoral poison outside of Brisbane.

‘Not dealing with any hypotheticals’

The Premier had the chance to put any speculation about Ms Trad’s future to bed three months ago after the CCC released its report.

But Ms Palaszczuk dismissed a question about her return to the frontbench.

Ms Palaszczuk speaks at a press conference in front of a blue screen with the Queensland government logo.
Ms Palaszczuk dismissed a question about Ms Trad’s return to the frontbench.(AAP: Glenn Hunt)

“I am not dealing with any hypotheticals,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

The LNP were never going to let the matter rest there.

Another complicating factor was Ms Trad’s left faction, which has a majority in the Labor Caucus and therefore the power to allow their former champion to regain past glory.

This made it all the more difficult to sit on the fence, yet that is precisely what the Premier chose to do when asked the inevitable question on Sunday — will Jackie Trad return to cabinet if Labor wins?

“There’s an election on at the moment and people have to work hard to win their seats,” was Ms Palaszczuk’s reply, with a reference Ms Trad’s tough campaign to retain her seat of South Brisbane against a challenge from the Greens.

The next morning, after Brisbane’s only daily newspaper, The Courier Mail, ran a front-page story about the Premier’s comments, Ms Trad herself ended the speculation in a statement on Facebook.

“You know it’s going to be a bizarre week when you make the front page for (insert made up reason here),” Ms Trad wrote.

That was quite a bitter pill for Ms Trad to swallow, as over the past five months she has made no secret of her frustration at being on the backbench.

Queensland Deputy Premier Jackie Trad speaking, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in background in June 2018.
Ms Palaszczuk was asked twice yesterday whether she had a role in Ms Trad’s Facebook announcement.(ABC News: Tim Swanston – file photo)

Ms Palaszczuk was asked twice yesterday whether she had a role in Ms Trad’s Facebook announcement — both times the Premier declined to answer.

That’s quite an understatement about someone who, for half a decade, was the second most powerful politician in the state.

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Expert Tips on Getting Into ‘Trad’ Climbing

The term “Traditional” rock climbing (or as many often refer to as “Trad”), wasn’t really used until the ’80s when there needed to be distinction between trad and sport climbing (e.g. bolting of rock routes). Up until then, everything was what we call now call “Trad” climbing.

Trad, which is the practice of placing “gear” in rock features, cracks or other nooks for protection, and then removing the pieces after the climb is finished, is often seen as a more pure way to climb.

Although sport climbing has grown worldwide and has allowed climbers to attempt climbs that were previously inaccessible, there are still more areas that can be climbed traditionally—and knowing how to climb trad always give climbers more options.

We spoke with a two of the world’s top climbers and guides at the Arc’teryx Climbing Academy to get tips on trad.

Arc’teryx athlete and International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations (IFMGA) guide Mark Smiley started his climbing career in the gym at a young age, but now spends much of his time using his trad skills when he guides, especially for bigger objectives. Arc’teryx athlete and professional climber Vikki Weldon is a multiple Canadian Youth National Champion who started as a sport climber. By the time she was 15, she was already climbing 5.13s, but she only started to climb trad when she moved to Squamish. She had to start over, though, now she can lead grade 5.13 on trad.

Mark Smiley coaching students on how to test their placements. Photo: Courtesy of Mark Smiley

Why is it important for climbers to know trad and why is crack climbing an important skill?

VW: Traditional climbing can take you to some incredible places, up in the alpine, up new routes. I don’t think that it is necessary for all climbers to become trad climbers, but if you’re keen on adventure and getting up high, being able to place gear and climb cracks is essential.

MS: Crack climbing technique is another tool to get you to cool places. The first time you look at El Capitan, and you think, “I need to climb that!” Well, there aren’t any sport routes up it. Crack climbing opens the doors to so many cool adventures and remote places. So, when you are ready to leave the dog barking, speaker bumping, shoulder-to-shoulder belaying, that the sport crag can be, crack climbing is the answer to take you places.

Learning sizes of your gear in direct correlation to your hands, can save time and energy. Photo: Courtesy of Smith/Arc’teryx

What are some tips for those just starting out trad climbing?

VW: Start easy. If you’re a 5.10 sport climber, that doesn’t mean that it translates to 5.10 trad. They are very different. Give yourself the opportunity to have a good time, and take the grade level down a few notches. It is not a race, and the more time you spend learning how to place gear, the more you will enjoy it.

I think it is good to go with someone who is keen to teach, or hire a guide for a day, or even sign up for a clinic such as these offered at the Arc’teryx Climbing Academy. Trad can seem overwhelming, especially if you come from a different style of climbing, such as sport or bouldering. Learning the different sizes of cams, their colors and what order to rack them in, is a great start. Following a pitch and analyzing how your partner placed gear can be really helpful.

MS: Grabbing the wrong piece of gear is super frustrating and can be dangerous, especially when you’re trying to place it, hanging from one arm. I think it’s best to literally feel the crack, and associate that size feeling with the appropriate cam. For example, I know that if I stick my hand in and the crack is a tight hand jam, that that relates to a Black Diamond #1 red cam. If it is a snug finger lock then that’s a Black Diamond #0.4 grey cam. This makes it much easier then simply looking at a crack and knowing the size. Which is ultimately the next step in learning, but it takes time to develop your eye.

Also, fail quickly! If you grab the wrong size cam, which happens all the time, don’t waste your energy trying to make it work. Simply fail quickly, grab the right size and place it well. Your future self will be thankful when you climb above a solid piece versus a piece that you “made work.”

Trad climbing can involve alot of gear. Photo: Courtesy of Smith/Arc’teryx

What is some of your favorite trad gear?

VW: I learned on Black Diamond Camalots and they are still my favorite cams. I also recently started climbing in La Sportiva TC Pros climbing shoes. I have pretty weak ankles and I found they have made a huge different in supporting my ankles when I’m torquing them inside a crack.

MS: Black Diamond cams are, in most peoples’ opinions, the industry standard. They work great, get stuck less than “single-axle” cams.  Most importantly, once you learn the sizes and corresponding colors, you will be able to use your friends’ cams and you won’t have to relearn a different brand’s sizes and colors.

CAMP nano 22 wiregate carabiners are the best wiregate on the market. They are super light, the gate action is perfect, and you can get a ton of them on your harness gear loops without feeling crowded, plus they come in colors to help you organize your gear.

People with huge hands, go with the bigger Photon wiregate, but for everyone else, the Nano 22 is the jam. Having a really lightweight wind jacket that can be worn on your harness (stuffed in its own pocket) is really nice. The Arc’teryx Squamish Hoody is the boss. It’s really light, and super durable, will cut the wind and even shed a light rain. It’s the piece I always have with me on a multi-pitch rock route if the weather looks iffy at all.

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Queensland Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad resigns from ministerial duties

Queensland Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad has resigned from her ministerial duties, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says.

Health Minister Steven Miles will take over as deputy premier.

Cameron Dick has been announced as the new treasurer and Kate Jones will be minister for state development.

The Premier said this would be the Queensland leadership team going into the upcoming state election.

Yesterday, Ms Trad announced she was standing aside from her ministerial duties during an investigation launched by the state’s corruption watchdog.

Ms Trad said the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) informed her on Friday afternoon that it would investigate the recruitment and selection process for the principal of the new Inner City South Secondary College, in Brisbane’s Dutton Park.

“Today, Jackie Trad has resigned from her ministerial portfolio responsibilities,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“She has made her decision in the best interests of her family, the community and the [Queensland Labor] party.

“She does not want there to be any distraction for the Government as we respond to the COVID crisis. I really want to thank her.”

Ms Palaszczuk said she had moved “swiftly and decisively” to decide on the new leadership team.

“I want to reassure Queenslanders that these are permanent appointments.

“Queenslanders expect myself and my team to deal with the health and economic crisis that we have before us and that is absolutely my intention,” she said.

Mr Miles said his appointment to deputy premier was “a great honour”.

“This year I have lived and breathed the response to the COVID-19 pandemic — nothing’s changed,” he said.

“It is an honour for me to continue to lead our health workers throughout that response.”

More to come.

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