Premier risks cred­i­bil­ity on ‘ cover up’

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - JES­SICA MARSZALEK ANTHONY TEM­PLE­TON SARAH VOGLER

PREMIER An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk is keep­ing se­cret which min­is­ters have been us­ing their pri­vate emails for min­is­te­rial work in a move cast­ing doubt on her ac­count­abil­ity pledge.

Ms Palaszczuk yes­ter­day avoided the me­dia af­ter stand­ing aside Min­is­ter Mark Bai­ley fol­low­ing Crime and Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion rev­e­la­tions the dele­tion of his pri­vate email ac­count may amount to cor­rupt con­duct.

In an­other blow, the CCC probe found other min­is­ters were also us­ing such emails in what was a cor­rup­tion risk, al­though no cor­rupt con­duct had been iden­ti­fied.

Op­po­si­tion Leader Tim Ni­cholls last night said the “cover up” left Ms Palaszczuk’s open­ness and trans­parency cred­i­bil­ity “in tat­ters”. “We al­ready know some min­is­ters have been caught out us­ing their pri­vate email ac­counts … and that flies di­rectly against the rules of the min­is­te­rial hand­book and against the Premier’s own di­rec­tion,” he said.

“The pub­lic de­serve to know who has been flout­ing the rules, who has been us­ing their pri­vate email ac­counts and why the rules have been bro­ken.”

News Corp asked ev­ery min­is­ter whether they had used pri­vate email ac­counts for of­fi­cial work af­ter CCC chair Alan MacS­por­ran told an es­ti­mates hear­ing he knew some min­is­ters were do­ing it, but he didn’t know who.

How­ever, min­is­ters’ of­fices were di­rected not to re­spond, with a cen­tral re­sponse from Ms Palaszczuk’s of­fice re­fus­ing to de­tail who had erred.

“From time to time, some min­is­ters have used pri­vate email ac­counts, typ­i­cally to print or ac­cess doc­u­ments they could not ac­cess when at home,” the state­ment said.

“The CCC has now made it clear that the use of pri­vate email ad­dresses for work pur­poses by any Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment or pub­lic ser­vant lacks trans­parency.

“The Premier has di­rected the De­part­ment of Premier and Cab­i­net to de­velop new ex­plicit and for­mal ad­vice to min­is­ters.”

At­tor­ney- Gen­eral

TIM NI­CHOLLS

Yvette D’Ath de­tailed her pri­vate email use in Es­ti­mates yes­ter­day – in­clud­ing print­ing out speeches and other doc­u­ments at home – and in­di­cated she be­lieved many min­is­ters, Op­po­si­tion front­benchers and back­benchers had been do­ing the same.

“That is a use that has been un­der­taken by a num­ber of min­is­ters and I sus­pect many min­is­ters over many gov­ern­ments,” she said.

State Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Anthony Lyn­ham, Health Min­is­ter Cameron Dick and En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Steven Miles have ad­mit­ted sim­i­lar use.

Mr Bai­ley has been stood aside pend­ing the out­come of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and his port­fo­lio split be­tween Trea­surer Cur­tis Pitt and Dr Miles.

YVETTE D’ATH

OPEN AT­TACK: Premier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk with Mark Bai­ley who has been stood aside pend­ing an in­quiry.

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