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Motion to Refer Brooks to the Privileges Committee

28 November 2018
Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr WOODRUFF (Franklin) - Madam Speaker, I support this motion and will add 
a few comments. We have heard chapter and verse all the pieces of the 
Integrity Commission's report that the Premier failed to read into the 
House. I will run through a few more because it really calls into account 
not just the behaviour of Adam Brooks when he was a minister and following 
that time when he was being investigated, but this points to the integrity 
of the Premier.

This whole, sad history of failure to uphold standards of ethical conduct 
falls directly on the Premier's head. He is responsible for setting the 
standard. It was, frankly, shameful and embarrassing to hear him point 
back to the realms of history to come up with examples from other 
parliamentary periods when members of parliament have behaved badly. 
There is no doubt members of parliament have behaved badly many times. I 
believe former premier, Robin Gray, behaved very badly. It is interesting 
how the Premier picks amongst the crumbs and selects the ones which will 
try to paint him and his Government in the best light. 

Madam Speaker, there is no gilding the lily on this one. Under this 
Premier, under his term, it will be a stain on him as a leader while we 
have this comprehensive failure at every single opportunity to uphold a 
standard of integrity, the standards of ethical conduct which every member 
in this House should abide by. 

The Premier took no action when former minister, Matthew Groom, misled 
parliament. He took no action when the previous primary industries 
minister, Sarah Courtney, breached the ministerial code of conduct by not 
declaring her personal and highly conflicted relationship with her 
department secretary for at least months - by all credible beliefs - 
including an overseas jaunt to China with that person using taxpayer money, 
and we are expected to believe everything that happened during that period 
was above board. Tasmanians are not fools. Instead of the Premier taking 
action against that clear breach of the ministerial code of conduct, he 
rewarded Ms Courtney's poor judgment, lack of discretion and failure to 
inform him in time with another ministry. 

When this Integrity Commission report came down we found that former 
minister Adam Brooks misled the parliament three times, lied to the 
Premier, lied to the Crown Solicitor and took steps to remove evidence 
from any investigation into the ministerial code of conduct. What a 
surprise that the Premier has refused to take any credible action and do 
anything serious that would demonstrate to Mr Brooks, his parliamentary 
members of Cabinet, the other people on his backbench, the House and the 
people of Tasmania that he stands for integrity and a government that is 
ethical. It is no surprise because everyone who has been watching would 
have expected the Premier to take such a highly political, self-interested 
step. There is no other way of looking at it because if a person has the 
confidence of their convictions they act accordingly. The Premier clearly 
is not acting according to a conviction or belief about ethical behaviour.