Is this the last straw for Trad’s political career?
IS this the beginning of the end for pugnacious Deputy Premier Jackie Trad or just another bump in the road in her very turbulent political career?
It sure doesn't look good.
Five months after allegations were referred to the Crime and Corruption Commission that Ms Trad interfered with an independent public service selection panel process, the watchdog has inextricably upgraded the matter to an investigation.
This extraordinary length of time indicates the CCC has either come across new evidence or it has received new advice in relation to the claims concerning the principal position for a new school in her electorate.
Even last year's scandal over Ms Trad's failure to properly declare a Woolloongabba property purchase, which heralded sweeping new criminal offences for ministers, was never officially made an investigation.
Regardless, Trad had no choice but to stand aside from her duties as Deputy Premier and Treasurer.
The precedent was set when Transport Minister Mark Bailey was investigated.
This is a huge conundrum for Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk because it is a crisis that her Government has no ability to influence or end.
The CCC could take days, it could take weeks, it could take months to conclude its investigation.
CCC boss Alan MacSporran has demonstrated already that he isn't in a hurry to clear the Deputy Premier.
If the watchdog's probes into local government are anything to go by, the answer is likely months.
In the immediate future, it means the Government hasn't got a full-time dedicated treasurer just as a global pandemic is morphing from a health crisis into an economic disaster.
Ms Palaszczuk has taken on the job in the interim but it's a stopgap solution.
Simply by indicating she'll take on the extra responsibilities "until further notice", Palaszczuk is tacitly acknowledging that it isn't a solution while trying to prevent a factional tug-a-war at the same time.
And this issue threatens to loom large when the October 31 election rolls around because there are three possible conclusions and none of them are very good.
It means Palaszczuk might have to go to an election alongside a deputy with a sullied reputation after twice during the term coming into the purview of the state's corruption watchdog.
Or it means when the election rolls around, nothing has been resolved so Labor would have to decide whether Trad can continue as its South Brisbane candidate.
The other possibility is that the CCC has flicked the case to prosecution authorities, which would surely force Trad from politics.
If this turns out to be just a bump, it's going to be a bloody big one.
Originally published as Is this the last straw for Trad's political career?