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Tasmanian Liberal politician Adam Brooks.

Controversial Liberal candidate Adam Brooks will not take his seat in the Tasmanian Parliament and has been charged by Queensland police with being in possession of a handgun, unauthorised explosives and false driver’s licences.

Key points:

  • Adam Brooks won in the seat of Braddon for the Liberals at the May election
  • Mr Brooks resigned and would not take his seat, Premier Peter Gutwein said
  • He has been charged by Queensland police with firearms offences, Mr Gutwein said

Premier Peter Gutwein made the announcement 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. 

Adam Brooks and other shooters at a gun target range.
Adam Brooks is a keen target shooter.(Facebook: Adam Brooks)

Mr Gutwein said due to Mr Brooks’ “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.

Asked if preselecting Mr Brooks was a mistake, Mr Gutwein said he could “only take people at face value and on their word”.

“This is new information, though. I was made aware of it last night at 7:00pm, and as I’ve said, he was charged yesterday.

“I made the decision that under the circumstances of both his mental health and in terms of the fact that he’s now facing these new charges, that he won’t take his seat in parliament.”

Unauthorised possession of explosives among charges

In a statement, Queensland police said detectives from Moreton District had “charged a 45-year-old Tasmanian man following investigations into alleged weapons offences”.

The ABC understands that person is Mr Brooks.

Queensland police said “information provided to police last week resulted in the execution of a search warrant on a Marine Parade address in Redcliffe on Wednesday night where it will be alleged a handgun and false driver’s licences were seized”.

“The 45-year-old man has been charged with one count each of unlawful possession of Category H weapon, unauthorised possession of explosives and dealing with identity documents.”

Police said the man was expected to appear in the Redcliffe Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Braddon candidate Adam Brooks with Clark candidate Madeleine Ogilvie
Adam Brooks with Clark candidate Madeleine Ogilvie at the Tasmanian Liberals campaign launch in April.

Mr Brooks was elected to the fifth seat in Braddon at the state election, receiving just over 6,000 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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