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Rockliff's Pathetic Response to Bracknell Hall Conflict of Interest

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 1 March 2023

Tags: Integrity, Democracy, Public Office

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

If there was any lingering sliver of doubt about the nature of Mark Shelton MP’s deep, personal involvement in arranging $400,000 funding for the Bracknell Hall, it was put to bed by the Liberals’ performance in Parliament today.

Usually when faced with scrutiny over their dodgy decision-making, the Liberals try to mount a feeble defence. But, faced with basic questions about Mr Shelton’s conduct and the process (or lack thereof) for funds being awarded to Bracknell Hall, all the Premier and his colleagues could muster in response was a laughable attack on the Greens. 

It was proof – they just don’t get it.  They don’t understand what a conflict of interest is. They can't grapple with the concept of a Member of Parliament needing to leave their personal interests aside when undertaking their professional role as elected representatives.

The Liberals could not produce a single piece of evidence - or even mount a single argument – in defence of Mr Shelton’s conduct, and that says everything about the problematic nature of this situation.

In fact, the only new thing we learned in Parliament today was that Mr Shelton advocated for his pet project directly with then-Premier Peter Gutwein. We wonder how Jeremy Rockliff feels about accidentally revealing this crucial information in his half-hearted response.

The Liberals play ostrich and pretend there’s ‘nothing to see here’, but reasonable Tasmanians will see straight through them. The facts of this matter speak for themselves.

As a member of the Bracknell Hall Committee along with numerous Shelton family members, Mark Shelton had a direct personal interest in funding being provided for a new hall. And documentary evidence clearly shows Mr Shelton was involved in arranging – outside any proper, merits-based process – that funding.

If that’s not a conflict of interest, what is?

Jeremy Rockliff’s refusal to take this seriously throws the Premier’s own integrity into question.