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Local Communities Facilities Fund - Liberal MPs Conflicts of Interest

Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Tags: Sport and Recreation, Transparency, Governance


Yesterday we asked you for a full list of the conflict‑of-interest disclosures made by Liberal candidates when applying to access the local communities facilities fund.  You did not provide this disclosure list.  You could not even bring yourself to say the words 'conflict of interest'. 

Last week we found out the member for Clark, Ms Ogilvie, had secured tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayer funds for a club of which a family member was a member.  We now know that the member for Lyons, Mr Shelton, has done the same.  We are asking you again: will you table a full list of the conflict‑of-interest disclosures made by Liberal candidates when applying for these taxpayer funds?  If you do not, the only logical conclusion we can draw is that you are protecting other Liberal MPs who put their hand out not just to buy votes but also, arguably, for their own self-interest. 



Mr Speaker, I thank the member for her question.  As you well know, it is an MP's job, a local member's job, to support their electorate, work hard in their electorate, keep their ear to the ground and listen to various community organisations - largely not‑for‑profit organisations or sporting clubs that do really great work in our community.

Ms O'Connor - As long as they know a Liberal member.

Mr SPEAKER - Order.

Mr ROCKLIFF - Making promises during an election campaign and giving Tasmanians the right to vote on those promises is a transparent and fundamental part of our democracy. 

As an MP I make no apologies for working around my electorate of Braddon, listening to people, not just during the election campaign but for the entirety of the four years.  It is our job to do that.  I have seen neglected infrastructure of sporting clubs and the like -

Dr Woodruff - The Sandy Bay Rowing Club is not an impoverished organisation.  Let's just be real about this. 

Mr SPEAKER - Dr Woodruff, order.

Mr ROCKLIFF - During the 2021 election all Liberal candidates were expected to get out on the ground and talk with local communities about their needs.  Candidates were asked to put forward their ideas and requests for small, one-off community projects, as I have done at every election, if my memory serves me correctly.  I mentioned yesterday my experience as a candidate in 2002, 2006 and 2010.  We made various commitments -

Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Mr Speaker, standing order 45, relevance.  We have just asked the Premier for the second day in a row to table a conflict of interests -

Mr SPEAKER - The point of order is relevance; I will take that.  You do not have to explain.  I will remind everybody that I cannot put words in the Premier's or any minister's mouth.  They can answer the question.  It was a wide-ranging question and, from my point of view, the Premier has been dealing with the question.

Mr ROCKLIFF - While I was successful as a candidate to become a member of parliament, our party was not and therefore those commitments did not come to fruition unless they were picked and supported by the government of the day.  That is a fair and transparent process. 

I am aware of the commitments of those opposite that they made at the last election as well.  Didn't they have a crack - some $31 million of projects was promised by those opposite.  I can see Mr O'Byrne and he is shaking his head; it is almost about to fall off.  I am not sure why you are shaking your head because I have a fair old list from you, David, that you committed.  No doubt you were doing the work and supporting organisations that approached or whatever the case may be. 

Ms O'Connor, elections are really about democracy.  If we had not won or were not successful at the 2021 election, the commitments that we made would not have come to fruition.  I know, in a transparent way, our minister for Sport -

Dr Woodruff - It came out because the Greens brought this out.

Mr SPEAKER - Dr Woodruff, order.

Mr ROCKLIFF - Our Minister for Sport and Recreation tabled a list of projects yesterday.