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China Delegation - Conduct of Mr Brooks, Member for Braddon

28 May 2015
Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN
   
[10.12 a.m.]
The rumour mill is alive with stories of your Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Brooks', conduct on your recent trip to China. Is it a fact that he embarrassed the delegation more than once? Is it a fact that he missed more than one bus? Can you give the House a full report on Mr Brooks' conduct in China? Did he embarrass Tasmania and cause us to lose face with our most important trading partner?
   
 
ANSWER
   
Madam Speaker, I have heard it all. A question based on the so-called rumour mill. That is what this lot opposite base their questions on. That is the best you can do -
   
Members interjecting.
   
Madam SPEAKER - Order. Members will stop their interjections.
   
Mr Green interjecting.
   
Madam SPEAKER - Order. I have just finished warning the House. I warn the Leader of the Opposition.
   
Mr HODGMAN - The best Labor and the Greens can do is rely on the rumour mill to ask a question without substance on the day of the State Budget. Does it not just demonstrate the priorities of Members opposite?
   
I can assure you, Madam Speaker, that Mr Brooks was not an embarrassment to our state on this trade mission, which has delivered significant benefits to our state and has further entrenched our strong relationship with China. There is going to be more good news, coming out of the work we have been doing to strengthen this relationship, for our Government and for important partners like the University of Tasmania, our Antarctic sector and Tasmanian businesses that Mr Brooks was in China to support. He did so very honourably to demonstrate our support for increasing our networks into China.
   
It is true Mr Brooks did miss a bus. He did apologise, and was criticised for doing so by the Leader of the Opposition, who thought he was going way beyond what was necessary to simply apologise. It is a common courtesy to do that. Did it prevent Mr Brooks from getting to dinner with the president? No. Did it impede our ability to further strengthen and enhance our relationship with China? No. Is this another example of Labor and the Greens having nothing else than rumours to deal with?
   
Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Madam Speaker. I asked specifically how many buses Mr Brooks missed and I asked for a report on his conduct on the trip.
   
Mr HODGMAN - I have told you that he missed the bus. His conduct on the trip was excellent.