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Mr Brooks - Integrity Commission Report - Legal Costs

29 November 2018

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?

 

ANSWER

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.