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Premier Hodgman Misleads Parliament to Protect Disgraced Ministers

16 June 2016

Thursday 16 June 2016

Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

[10.23 a.m.]

You have told Parliament you accept Mr Brooks' explanation that he only used his MSS email address for personal purposes, yet it is a matter of public record that he was also using it for his parliamentary work.  In your desperation to deflect from the dishonesty at the heart of your government and your weak leadership you have sought to reassure Tasmanians, and this House, that the email was for personal use only.  Is it not a fact that on the evidence it was being used for work purposes.  Do you agree that Mr Brooks was not just using his email for personal matters?  Have you not also misled Parliament about Mr Brooks' email?

ANSWER

Madam Speaker, I will say again very clearly in relation to Mr Brooks' use of this email account the issue goes to whether he used that email address for business-related activities that put into conflict with his then ministerial responsibilities.  The issue is not whether you can delve into Mr Brooks' private life.  No doubt it would be a matter of great interest to members opposite, or into communications that are not business-related.  Surely that is not what you are seeking to do.

Ms O'Connor - You've misled Parliament; it's not just for personal use.

Madam SPEAKER - Order.  The member for Denison has made a serious allegation.  At least give the Premier an opportunity to answer that question.

Mr HODGMAN - The question goes to whether or not Mr Brooks utilised that email address for business-related activities that would put him into conflict with his ministerial responsibilities.  That is the issue that is being tested by the audit that we have commissioned.  It is an audit, not unlike court proceedings, that allows people an opportunity to investigate matters independently.  I think it is best that independent officers like the Crown Solicitor do this - not people like you, or you for that matter.

Madam SPEAKER - Through the Chair.

Mr HODGMAN - I do not call into question the Crown Solicitor, nor indeed the former solicitor-general, Leigh Sealy, who is also overseeing this process to make that determination so that it is not left to me, to you or you to make the determination as to whether or not Mr Brooks used that email address for business-related purposes.