Controversial Liberal candidate Adam Brooks will not take his seat in the Tasmanian Parliament.
Premier Peter Gutwein announced the decision shortly before the polls were due to be declared following the May 1 state election.
Mr Gutwein said he spoke with Mr Brooks on Thursday evening, when Mr Brooks disclosed he had flown to Queensland and was seeking treatment for his mental health.
“Last night he also informed me that yesterday he was visited by Queensland police and he has subsequently been charged with a firearms offence and also in relation to a matter relating to a document,” Mr Gutwein said.
Mr Gutwein said Mr Brooks had been bailed to appear in court.
“Mr Brooks advised me that he is seeking legal advice and intends to defend himself against these new charges,” Mr Gutwein said.
“However, due to his state of health and need to focus on his own personal circumstances, it is his intention not to take his seat in Parliament and to forward his resignation to the Governor today.
“I agree with him under these circumstances that that is the only appropriate course of action.”
Mr Gutwein said Mr Brooks was entitled to the presumption of innocence, and that Mr Brooks maintained his emphatic denials.
Mr Brooks was elected to the fifth seat in Braddon at the state election, receiving just over 6000 first preference votes.
It means former MP Felix Ellis would be expected to win a recount for the seat.
Mr Brooks was first elected to Tasmania’s parliament in 2010, and was promoted into cabinet in 2016 before being sent to the backbench soon after for misleading a Parliamentary Estimates Committee over the use of a private email account related to his business, Maintenance System Solutions.
He later corrected the record.
Mr Brooks ran for state parliament again in 2018 and was re-elected, drawing almost an entire quota of first preference votes.
Later that year his use of the Maintenance System Solutions company email account was investigated by the Integrity Commission, which cleared him of misusing information related to his portfolio or breaching the ministerial code of conduct.
However, Mr Brooks was found to have breached a protocol established by the former premier by maintaining an involvement in Maintenance System Solutions, and that he had failed to “accurately inform” Will Hodgman about his work with the business.
He was also found to have “double deleted” relevant emails – partly out of personal issues, but also out of political concern, the Integrity Commission found.
After a period of sick leave, Mr Brooks resigned and has always maintained he did nothing wrong and no further action was taken.
Mr Brooks was elected Treasurer of the Liberal Party at its annual conference in December, and has previously been a significant donor to the Liberals, giving $50,000 in 2017-18.
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