You are here

Motion to Refer Brooks to the Privileges Committee

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Tags: Misleading Parliament, Integrity Commission, Privileges Committee

Dr WOODRUFF (Franklin) - Madam Speaker, I support this motion and will add a few comments. We have heard chapter and verse all the pieces of the Integrity Commission's report that the Premier failed to read into the House. I will run through a few more because it really calls into account not just the behaviour of Adam Brooks when he was a minister and following that time when he was being investigated, but this points to the integrity of the Premier.

This whole, sad history of failure to uphold standards of ethical conduct falls directly on the Premier's head. He is responsible for setting the standard. It was, frankly, shameful and embarrassing to hear him point back to the realms of history to come up with examples from other parliamentary periods when members of parliament have behaved badly. There is no doubt members of parliament have behaved badly many times. I believe former premier, Robin Gray, behaved very badly. It is interesting how the Premier picks amongst the crumbs and selects the ones which will try to paint him and his Government in the best light.

Madam Speaker, there is no gilding the lily on this one. Under this Premier, under his term, it will be a stain on him as a leader while we have this comprehensive failure at every single opportunity to uphold a standard of integrity, the standards of ethical conduct which every member in this House should abide by.

The Premier took no action when former minister, Matthew Groom, misled parliament. He took no action when the previous primary industries minister, Sarah Courtney, breached the ministerial code of conduct by not declaring her personal and highly conflicted relationship with her department secretary for at least months - by all credible beliefs - including an overseas jaunt to China with that person using taxpayer money, and we are expected to believe everything that happened during that period was above board. Tasmanians are not fools. Instead of the Premier taking action against that clear breach of the ministerial code of conduct, he rewarded Ms Courtney's poor judgment, lack of discretion and failure to inform him in time with another ministry.

When this Integrity Commission report came down we found that former minister Adam Brooks misled the parliament three times, lied to the Premier, lied to the Crown Solicitor and took steps to remove evidence from any investigation into the ministerial code of conduct. What a surprise that the Premier has refused to take any credible action and do anything serious that would demonstrate to Mr Brooks, his parliamentary members of Cabinet, the other people on his backbench, the House and the people of Tasmania that he stands for integrity and a government that is ethical. It is no surprise because everyone who has been watching would have expected the Premier to take such a highly political, self-interested step. There is no other way of looking at it because if a person has the confidence of their convictions they act accordingly. The Premier clearly is not acting according to a conviction or belief about ethical behaviour.