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You’ve now seen the State Government’s Ministerial Code of Conduct Documents.
You’ve seen the pictures of Racing Minister Grace Grace and the newly appointed Chair of Racing Queensland Steve Wilson, all dolled up and looking pretty.
You’ve read my personal interest disclosure.
Now it’s time for me to tell you the story.
Grace Grace and Steve Wilson have a long, long history.
On 20 July 2000, while she was the General Secretary of the Qld Council of Unions – the holder of the highest office in the union movement in the Pineapple State – Grace Grace was appointed a Director of a company named Flagship Investments.
Flagship Investments was majority owned by Steve Wilson, either directly or through a series of other companies including Powers Pty Ltd, Wilson ITM Investment Group, and Hyperion Asset Management Ltd.
At the end of the financial year that Grace Grace became a Director of Flagship Investments she held 3900 shares in the company. The share price at that time was $1.32, which meant that her holdings were valued at $ 5 148.
The now Minister for Racing earned no Directors Fees in 2000.
But by 2007, the year she entered State Parliament, Grace Grace was earning $12 200 a year in fees from Hyperion, and I strongly suspect that she was slipping it directly into her back pocket rather than passing it on to the Qld Council of Unions.
By that time her share holdings had increased almost five-fold, and she now owned 15 090 shares in the investment company. Not a single one of them was co-owned by the working people of Queensland that she purported to represent in her role at the QCU.
By this stage the shares price had increased in value to $2.14. The unionist’s portfolio was now worth $32 282.00.
On 15 October 2007, 2 days after she was appointed by the ALP to become the State Member for Brisbane – filling the casual vacancy caused by the resignation of the sitting member Peter Beattie, the Premier of Queensland – Grace Grace resigned from her board role with HTM management.
A couple of years later, without mentioning a word about their plans prior to going to the polls, the freshly re-elected Bligh Government decided to sell the profitable Coal and Freight arm of Queensland Rail.
The union movement went ballistic, and rightly so, for their members jobs were about to be sold down the river. Peter Simpson and Stuart Traill of the Electrical Trades Union were expelled from the ALP for bucking the party line and campaigning against the asset sales, and huge schisms appeared inside the previously united Labor Party, leading to a lashing by voters at the next election, and the short-term ascendancy of Campbell Newman’s LNP government.
Grace Grace said not a single word in opposition to the sale of Qld Rail.
When the vote to sell the State-Owned asset was put to floor of the House of Broken Dreams, she immediately raised her hand in favor of the sale.
Guess who the State Government appointed as the Lead Manager in charge of the stock market float of Queensland Rail?
He made millions.
No-one knows how much Grace Grace made.
And now she has appointed Steve Wilson as the head of Racing Queensland.
She has declared her interests in Flagship Investments on the Parliamentary Register, in vague terms at least.
But she has not declared her business and personal relationship with Steve Wilson, and has concealed her direct conflict of interest in the making this crucial appointment, in direct violation of the Ministerial Code of Conduct.
Grace Grace is a disgrace.
She must be sacked immediately.