Bailey returns to ministerial duties


CCC will take 'no criminal action' against Queensland minister in email deactivation saga

Bailey returns to ministerial duties
Bailey has resumed his job effective today.

 

The Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) has cleared Mark Bailey of all potential criminal charges for his deletion of his private email account.

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says Bailey has been reinstated to the ministry "based on the clear finding of Commissioner Alan MacSporran".

Bailey resumed his role as Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports, Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply Minister, effective today. 

The issue began when Bailey closed his yahoo.co.uk account around the time when The Australian made a right to information request to find out whether he was using the address to talk to union officials.

A formal investigation was launched in July, following which, Palaszczuk asked Bailey to stand aside as minister as an investigation into the allegations began.

Bailey later told the Parliament that he had deleted the account to ensure he could only be contacted on his ministerial email account.

The CCC had initially found a "reasonable suspicion of corrupt conduct" relating to the potential destruction of public records.

MacSporran told the Parliamentary Estimates Hearing on 20 July:

"The most serious allegation, as I am sure you are aware, against Minister Bailey was that he had used a private email account to conceal secret negotiations with the ETU over a range of issues.

"Having recovered the emails with the assistance of Minister Bailey, those were assessed and a report was given to us by Crown Law—the department I think it was.  

"We assessed that there was no evidence to suggest that Minister Bailey had conducted those secret negotiations with the ETU.

"We had the emails. We looked at them.

"They did not bear out the allegation that he had attempted to use a private email account to cover up what had been discussed between himself and the ETU."

Today, the Commission acknowledged the timing of the deactivation of his private email, but noted that it found "no evidence" to suggest that Bailey was trying to "conceal corrupt conduct".

MacSporran stated that "there was no basis to pursue criminal conduct against Mr Bailey for disposal of public records."

Addressing the media, Bailey says it was his decision to delete the email account and he should have consulted with others beforehand.

"In hindsight, of course I'd make a different decision, but look, I'm not perfect, I admit to the mistake that I've made and I'm apologetic for that," Bailey says.

"In life you've got to be honest about when you do make a mistake, I've made one and I'm not ashamed to admit it."

Shortly after the CCC decision, Palaszczuk met with Bailey to discuss his priorities, including "rolling out our increased Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program (QTRIP) investment of $21 billion between 2017-18 to 2020-21 to deliver improved transport, it will also support nearly 17,000 direct jobs over the life of the four year program".

Palaszczuk thanked treasurer Curtis Pitt and minister Steven Miles for managing Bailey’s responsibilities since July.

"The Department of Premier and Cabinet has been working with the State Archivist to develop revised guidelines for management of public documents," Palaszczuk says.

"The State Archivist in consultation with the CCC has advised that the new guidelines will not available until after the CCC has concluded its investigation.  

"Now the investigation has been concluded, I have asked my Department to work towards the soonest practical release of these guidelines.

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