Calls for Bailey to resign over emails

Stuart Layt
There are calls for Queensland minister Mark Bailey to resign over his deletion of an email account.

Queensland's opposition has called on Energy Minister Mark Bailey to resign after he admitted his staff knew about a right-to-information request on his private email account before he deleted it.

Mr Bailey on Thursday evening admitted he told state parliament his chief of staff had alerted him via an email that The Australian newspaper was seeking access to emails from union bosses before he deleted it.

He told parliament on Thursday evening he deleted the account on February 5, nearly two weeks after the RTI was lodged.

His chief of staff had emailed him about the issue on Friday February 3, but he said he didn't read that email or discuss the matter with him until the following Monday, February 6.

"It was during this discussion that I told my COS I had deleted the email account," Mr Bailey told parliament.

"As previously stated, because I could not control who emailed me on my long-standing email account of 20 years, I deleted it to ensure there was no possibility of work-related emails not going to my work email address."

But opposition frontbencher Scott Emerson said that explanation doesn't pass the "pub test".

"I've been a minister in a government, I can tell you if your chief of staff sends you an email, and the subject is 'an investigation by The Australian newspaper into your emails', I tell you, you open it straight away," Mr Emerson told ABC radio.

"The premier should show some leadership today and stand down Mark Bailey."

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced the director-general of her department is conducting an independent investigation into the issue, while Mr Bailey announced earlier on Thursday he would reactivate his account so it could be used in that investigation.

The opposition have already referred Mr Bailey to the Crime and Corruption Commission over the matter.

The emails in question were reportedly from Electrical Trades Union secretary Peter Simpson regarding his concerns about the proposed merger of Queensland's Energy Super and Victoria's Equip Super, which was abandoned in January.