With an eye towards the US, say hi to ‘Jackie Trade’
THE rumour mill is alight with theories on the future of debonair Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad.
Will she shift to the backbench to concentrate on winning South Brisbane?
Will she emerge in the wilds of Sunnybank and bump Labor backbencher Peter Russo from his seat of Toohey?
Perhaps the most incredible theory doing the rounds is a proposition Trad could be plonked into Queensland's US trade commissioner role.
That's the plum gig Peter Beattie had, prompting Lawrence Springborg to dryly opine at the time that he couldn't think of a more apt home for the former premier than Hollywood.
These days the North America trade rep works out of lusty digs at One World Trade Centre in New York and has an office in San Francisco. The theory is complicated by the fact the current commissioner, Viki Forrest, was only appointed last April.
SPEAKING of choice appointments, spies tell us a bevy of public service mandarins have had their contract rollovers ticked off just months from the state election. Among them is Department of Premier and Cabinet chief Dave Stewart.
They're not just your run-of-the-mill two-year extensions either, but a whopping five years. It's all about continuity at the top, we're sure, helping the "frank and fearless" advice continue unmolested by the whims of politics. But it does set up an interesting scenario if the LNP unwittingly finds itself in 1 William St after October 31. Given some directors-general are on the Opposition's naughty list, would the solution be a multimillion-dollar payout bill or a Goss government-era gulag?
WE THOUGHT the lean frame being sported by Mr Stewart these days showed he was a keen walker. But according to arts insiders he doesn't need to hotfoot it over Victoria Bridge when he's got tickets for the good shows on at Queensland Performing Arts Centre. According to some, Stewart has been spied regularly using a car park at QPAC even though Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk no longer has the arts portfolio. However, we've been assured that prime spaces are available to senior government employees when required.
THE Opposition has been thwarted in its attempts to extract the recruitment and selection panel report into Under Treasurer Frankie Carroll. Releasing the report would offend all manner of rules, the Information Commissioner has decreed, so whether Mr Carroll was the panel's top pick will never be known. Why the Opposition wanted it is beyond us, given the Government has repeatedly assured its merit-based selection process is sacrosanct. The Government would point out no such process existed in the Newman administration when the likes of former Liberal Michael Caltabiano won directors-general roles.
Southport MP Rob Molhoek has been mentioned in LNP leadership hypothesising. As one LNP figure put it "Maybe next time they should google him first".