Brooks attacks allegations

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MINING Minister Adam Brooks says Labor accusations he had a serious conflict of interest while he was Parliamentary Secretary for Trade are “grubby” and lack merit.
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No evidence: Mining and Building and Construction Minister Adam Brooks says allegations he had a conflict of interests are ‘grubby’. Picture: Meg Windram

Labor asked eight questions of Mr Brooks and Premier Will Hodgman about Mr Brooks’ business interests during Question Time on Thursday.

The owner and director of asset management service Maintenance System Solutions, Mr Brooks began a process to divest himself of any interest which could give rise to a real or perceived conflict of interest when he was appointed Minister of Mining and Building and Construction in February.

Opposition Leader Bryan Green called on Mr Brooks to release details of all interactions he had with any companies with commercial relationships or dealings with MSS, while on a trade mission to China as Parliamentary Secretary for Trade last March.

Mr Brooks was not a director of MSS at the time, he became director again on July 22, 2015, but was the sole share holder of the company.

Mr Green said Mr Brooks was currently “effectively the shadow director of MSS” three months after he began the divestment process, an allegation rubbished by Mr Brooks.

Mr Brooks said he had been open and honest about his business interests and did not have a conflict of interest.

“Mr Green has produced not a single shred of evidence to support his claims. It’s just smear and innuendo,” Mr Brooks said.

“I have resigned all my relevant directorships, I have commenced the process of divestment and, in the meantime, a six-point protocol developed in consultation with the Solicitor-General has been implemented to ensure the highest levels of propriety.

“It might surprise Mr Green, but you can’t simply divest a company that supports more than 100 families overnight.”

Mr Brooks said the questioning was a sign of an opposition with nothing else to talk about.

“They do not want to ask us aboutthe budget, jobs or mining-related questions that are to do with Tasmania,” he said.

Mr Hodgman said Labor’s claims about impropriety did not match with the facts of what Mr Brooks had done with respectto any potential conflict of interest.

He said Mr Brooks had acted in “a very proactive and forthright way” since he was appointed to cabinetin relation to divesting his interests.

Mr Green said he would wait forresponse from the government before deciding whether to take his concerns further.

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