Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN
Can you explain who made the decision to pay the legal costs of a member who is a serial liar and who has brought disrepute on the institution of parliament? Who made the decision and on what basis was it decided that one of this place's wealthiest members, one of who's eight properties is currently on the market for $2.7 million, should have his legal fees for being a serial liar covered by the taxpayer?
Mr HIDDING - Point of order, Madam Speaker. Can I ask you, Madam Speaker, to consider the unparliamentary use of the word 'liar'? Speakers have always ruled that it is unparliamentary unless it is in a substantive debate. Yesterday we had a substantive debate and the word was used a thousand times. The whole question has now been sent to a body of the House, the Privileges Committee, and we are now not on the substantive matter. I propose we go back to the standard position which is the use of the word 'liar' is unparliamentary in this circumstance.
Madam SPEAKER - I will uphold your point of order on the basis that the use of the word 'liar' is very unparliamentary. Whilst it has been bandied around a lot this week, I request a bit of temperance in the language and respect for the health of Mr Brooks. I will uphold it in this instance and we all need to be little more cautious about the language we use.
Ms O'CONNOR - Madam Speaker, on the point of order, I will restate in safer terms for the parliament: who made the decision, Premier, and on what basis, to pay Mr Brooks' legal fees?
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for the question. As I have advised the House, the decision made by Government was on the basis of a convention that where a minister acts in good faith, he or she may be entitled to seek indemnity for legal costs incurred. That decision was made prior to the release and tabling of the Integrity Commission report which occurred only this week. Mr Brooks will pay for all legal costs he incurred as a consequence of this investigation.