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Waiting game as corruption watchdog mulls release of email scandal report

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has promised to release a confidential report on a government email scandal if the corruption watchdog agrees.

Feb 10, 2022, updated Feb 10, 2022
Transport Minister Mark Bailey (photo: AAP)

Transport Minister Mark Bailey (photo: AAP)

Ms Palaszczuk says the Crime and Corruption Commission is deciding whether the report into Transport Minister Mark Bailey secretly using private emails under the name mangocube6 for official business can be released.

The document, written by former state archivist turned harsh government critic Mike Summerell, has been under lock and key since 2017.

Palaszczuk says she’s happy to release the report if the CCC gives its approval.

“It’s with the CCC, that’s my understanding, and as soon as it comes back it’s going to be released,” the premier told reporters on Thursday.

When asked whether the controversial report would be released after close of business on a Friday, she said: “I hope not. Well it depends on what time the CCC releases it.”

The suppression of the Bailey report is among a series of misconduct allegations made against the government recently.

The CCC is also investigating whether senior public servants in 2021 took a laptop from Integrity Commissioner Nikola Stepanov’s office and deleted its contents.

Dr Stepanov, who’s resigning in July, has also said the government cut her funding and staff, and even tried to have her removed.

The government strongly denies the latter claim.

Meanwhile, an unnamed Queen’s Counsel is probing misconduct allegations made by the former state archivist Mr Summerell.

He has alleged interference in his role and his reports, potentially leading to parliament being misled.

At the same time, separate reviews are looking at whether the CCC, the Integrity Commissioner and the Office of the Independent Assessor, the local government watchdog, are fit for purpose.

The premier has rejected calls for a sweeping integrity probe to look at a series of allegations against the government.

However, Palaszczuk said on Wednesday she was sorry whistleblowers “felt they weren’t listened to” when they raised issues previously.

“I apologise if they feel that way,” she said.

Liberal National Party leader David Crisafulli said the premier’s apology was meaningless without action, such as a wider integrity inquiry.

“I don’t cop the premier’s ‘Sorry, not sorry’ yesterday”, a half-baked apology,” he told reporters on Thursday.

“When you apologise, it doesn’t come with caveats. You don’t say: ‘I’m sorry if that’s how it made you feel’, you’re sorry because of what you’ve done and what you’ve said, and good apologies come with a call to action.”

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