Queensland Energy Minister Mark Bailey was last night stood down pending the outcome of an investigation into the use of his private email account for work purposes.
On Wednesday, the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) completed its assessment of the use of Mr Bailey’s private email account.
In March, the CCC directed the Department of Premier and Cabinet to work collaboratively with the State Archivist to review the contents of emails retrieved by the CCC to determine if any of them constitute a public record as defined by the Public Records Act 2002.
Based on a review of 30,000 emails from the Yahoo account, the CCC concluded a number of the emails were public records and referred the matter to the State Archivist for investigation.
“The CCC’s jurisdiction is limited to conduct that meets the definition of corrupt conduct in section 15 of the Crime and Corruption Act 2001,” a statement from the CCC said.
“An important element as it relates to elected officials is that the conduct must, if proved, be a criminal offence.
“In reviewing the emails, the CCC did not identify any evidence to support allegations Minister Bailey had used his personal email account to engage in negotiations with the Electrical Trades Union that would amount to corrupt conduct.
“However, the CCC considers there is sufficient evidence to raise a reasonable suspicion of corrupt conduct relating to the potential destruction of public records by the Minister as this may be an offence under the Public Records Act 2002.”
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk released a statement on Wednesday night that said she met with Minister Bailey and has asked him to stand aside pending the outcome of the State Archivist investigation.
“Mr Bailey has assured me he will fully cooperate with the State Archivist’s investigation,” she said.
She said the acting arrangements for Mr Bailey’s portfolio responsibilities would be announced today.