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Motion to Refer Brooks to the Privileges Committee
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.