Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr ROCKLIFF
We already knew the member for Lyons, Mr Shelton, and multiple members of his family were on the Bracknell Hall committee, which managed to secure more than $1 million in federal and state funding for a new hall outside any transparent merit-based process.
Now we know how extensive and direct this committee's involvement in the project to build a new hall at Bracknell has been and, therefore, the depth of Mr Shelton's own personal interest in the project.
We also now know that in July 2021, Mr Shelton met with the general manager of the Meander Valley Council before receiving a request for state government funding, which was granted in record time without proper process. All of this occurred without any attempt by Mr Shelton to appropriately avoid, disclose or manage his obvious conflict of interest.
Do you accept this is a serious matter that goes to public trust, transparency and accountability?
Mr Speaker, I thank the member, Ms O'Connor, for her question. As a local member of parliament, we all advocate for our local communities, our electorates and engage in dialogue with many organisations that have a need whether that be at election time or throughout the term of any parliament.
Ms O'Connor - It is the member for Lyons, not the member for Bracknell.
Mr ROCKLIFF - Local members, Lyons is a very big electorate. I am well aware of the advocacy of Mr Tucker, Mr Barnett and Mr Shelton across the great expanse of what is a wonderful electorate and part of Tasmania. Mr Shelton would have every right to engage with the former premier and treasurer about a project that needed funding in his own electorate. Mr Shelton is an active member of his local community and an active member for Lyons.
Every local member has the right to put forward ideas for enhancement of their electorate, community organisations. I have done the same with many organisations across my electorate in my 21 years representing the electorate of Braddon. I have faced six elections -
Ms O'Connor - How many millions of dollars have you secured for Sassafras?
Mr ROCKLIFF - I have faced six elections -
Mr SPEAKER - Order.
Mr ROCKLIFF - I advocated very strongly for the Sassafras Primary School when you tried to close it. As a former student of the school, and my children went to the school as well, when you tried to close the school in 2011 I stood up at a public meeting as I did at Edith Creek, as I did at Stanley and possibly elsewhere advocating for local communities.
Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Mr Speaker, the standing order on relevance. This is not about Mr Rockliff's advocacy for his home town. The question was about transparency, accountability and trust.
Mr SPEAKER - I will remind the Premier of that.
Mr ROCKLIFF - I thank the member for her question. This matter has been well canvassed in this place and outside of this place as well.
My understanding is, and I am advised that given both the council and the federal government had committed funding to the project, they were seeking additional funding from the state Government to complete the project. What I am pleased about is I see many projects across various electorates. In fact, I was very pleased yesterday in the state of the state Address to announce support for bridging that gap for the George Town Health Hub. Federal and local government contributions to ensure that project, borne of the community, local advocacy has come to fruition.
I encourage all members, but most certainly our team, to stand up for their electorate, listen to people when they have a need and act accordingly and appropriately.