Queensland Energy Minister Mark Bailey is under fire for claiming his constituents aren’t concerned about his tangles with the state’s corruption watchdog.
Mr Bailey returned to ministerial duties last week after the Crime and Corruption Commission found there were no grounds to prosecute him over his use and subsequent deletion of the private email account – [email protected]
Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, Mr Bailey said the investigation hadn’t been a big issue for voters in his Brisbane seat.
“Most of my constituents saw it for what it was, and that was it was a political play in the rough old game of politics,” he told reporters.
“I’ve tremendous levels of support from my local constituents who realise it was not a significant issue whatsoever.”
Liberal National Party shadow treasurer Scott Emerson hit out at the comments and said they showed Mr Bailey did not belong in parliament.
“But (Premier) Annastacia Palaszczuk doesn’t have the leadership or the strength of leadership to make sure he’s not there,” he said.
“I think his comments today are disgraceful. The reality is he’s broken the ministerial code of conduct, but he just wants to dismiss it.”
The CCC spent six months investigating Mr Bailey after he deleted his Yahoo account in January, 10 days after The Australian filed a Right to Information request for emails it contained from Electrical Trades Union secretary Peter Simpson regarding a merger of union superannuation funds.
It forced Mr Bailey to reopen the account and the state archivist later found he would have required legal permission to delete 660 of the emails.
However, because the account had been recovered, it was found Mr Bailey did not breach the public records act.
Acting Premier Curtis Pitt said he was unaware of Mr Bailey’s comments but insisted the investigation into his actions was thorough.
“I’m not going to suggest that’s a trivial matter,” he said.
“It’s certainly a matter that has been widely canvassed in the public, it has been the subject of an investigation, and I think it speaks for itself.”
Ms Palaszczuk has said officials are working on a new set of guidelines around the use of communications platforms.