Will Hodgman, Premier
I note the findings of the Integrity Commission’s Report tabled in Parliament today.
The Integrity Commission has dismissed all of the allegations made by the Labor Party against me.
I welcome the Integrity Commission’s findings that I acted appropriately and that I took reasonable steps to ensure Mr Brooks avoided a perception of conflict of interest, and to investigate his compliance with the Protocols.
As the Report says “Deliberate, detailed and documented steps were taken by the Premier, following advice from relevant senior State Service officers, to address Mr Brooks’ conflict of interest issues.” and “the evidence suggests that the Premier’s intention was to manage and respond to the issues effectively.”
In regards to Mr Brooks, the Integrity Commission has found that he did not at any time have a material conflict of interest and did not breach the Ministerial Code of Conduct.
I am, however, very disappointed at his failure to fully adhere to the robust protocols that were put in place to prevent any perception of a conflict.
While the divestment of his business, his relationship breakdown and subsequent divorce proceedings were no doubt very challenging for Mr Brooks, his actions in regards to complying with the protocol, as detailed in the Integrity Commission’s report, were very disappointing and fell short of my expectations.
I have spoken to Mr Brooks to express my disappointment about his actions, Mr Brooks has apologised to me and I have accepted his apology.
Mr Brooks has already paid a heavy price for his actions. He is no longer a Minister, and has not been considered for the Cabinet for more than two years.
I will not be considering him for a Ministry for the foreseeable future.
Additionally, he will not continue to hold the positions of Government Whip and Deputy Chair of Committees.
I have sought advice from the Crown Solicitor who has confirmed that due to the scope of the Integrity Commission investigation, there is no longer a need for him to conduct a second audit of Mr Brooks’ emails.
I understand Mr Brooks will make a statement in regards to these matters today. However, it is important to note that Mr Brooks has previously been, and is now dealing with personal health issues and is currently on medical leave; matters which I would ask people to also respect.