Tasmanian Liberal MP Adam Brooks has resigned one day after being elected to state parliament, after he was charged by Queensland police with offences related to firearms, explosives and identity documents.
Brooks – who was accused during the election campaign of catfishing two women – was charged after police raided a property at Redcliffe, north of Brisbane, on Wednesday.
Queensland police said they seized a handgun and false driver’s licences. Police expect to lay further charges.
Tasmanian premier Peter Gutwein said on Friday that Brooks was undertaking treatment for his mental health.
Gutwein said he spoke to Brooks about the matters on Thursday night after he was charged and said he was “not in a good space”.
“Due to his state of health and the 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,” Gutwein said in Launceston.
“Last night I was provided with new information. Mr Books has decided to take the action I have outlined … and I completely support that decision.”
Brooks was accused during the campaign of dating two women using fake online dating profiles under the name Terry.
He strongly denied the accusations and flagged legal action against certain people he said had made false claims about his private life.
Brooks’ resignation will trigger a recount in the seat of Braddon which is likely to take weeks. Gutwein expected the seat to be awarded to fellow Liberal Felix Ellis.
The Liberals were returned to power at the election with 13 members, a one-seat majority in the state’s 25-seat lower house.
Gutwein said Brooks, who left for Queensland on Wednesday, intends to fight the new gun charges. He will appear in a Queensland court on Tuesday.
Brooks was charged by Tasmania Police during the election campaign with gun offences relating to ammunition storage.
Gutwein said he did not regret backing Brooks, the state’s former mining minister, as a candidate.
“You can only take people at face value and on their word,” he said.
“In terms of the conversations I’ve had with Mr Brooks over the period leading up to him being a candidate, and then throughout the campaign period, he has been emphatic in his denial of the allegations against him.”
Brooks was elected to parliament in 2010 and promoted to cabinet in 2016, but abruptly resigned in 2019 after an Integrity Commission report into his use of his mining service company email.
He was cleared of misusing information and breaching the ministerial code of conduct but was found to have not accurately informed then-premier Will Hodgman about his business dealings.