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Mr Brooks - Integrity Commission Report - Legal Costs
Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN
Can you explain who made the decision to pay the legal costs of a member
who is a serial liar and who has brought disrepute on the institution of
parliament? Who made the decision and on what basis was it decided that
one of this place's wealthiest members, one of who's eight properties is
currently on the market for $2.7 million, should have his legal fees for
being a serial liar covered by the taxpayer?
Mr HIDDING - Point of order, Madam Speaker. Can I ask you, Madam Speaker,
to consider the unparliamentary use of the word 'liar'? Speakers have
always ruled that it is unparliamentary unless it is in a substantive
debate. Yesterday we had a substantive debate and the word was used a
thousand times. The whole question has now been sent to a body of the
House, the Privileges Committee, and we are now not on the substantive
matter. I propose we go back to the standard position which is the use of
the word 'liar' is unparliamentary in this circumstance.
Madam SPEAKER - I will uphold your point of order on the basis that the
use of the word 'liar' is very unparliamentary. Whilst it has been
bandied around a lot this week, I request a bit of temperance in the
language and respect for the health of Mr Brooks. I will uphold it in
this instance and we all need to be little more cautious about the
language we use.
Ms O'CONNOR - Madam Speaker, on the point of order, I will restate in
safer terms for the parliament: who made the decision, Premier, and on
what basis, to pay Mr Brooks' legal fees?
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for the question. As I have advised the
House, the decision made by Government was on the basis of a convention
that where a minister acts in good faith, he or she may be entitled to
seek indemnity for legal costs incurred. That decision was made prior to
the release and tabling of the Integrity Commission report which occurred
only this week. Mr Brooks will pay for all legal costs he incurred as a
consequence of this investigation.