Too far gone: Opposition says Premier can no longer hide

 

Secret emails sent and received by Annastacia Palaszczuk must be probed by the state archivist to determine whether she lied to Queenslanders and broke her own integrity rules, the Opposition says.

But the Premier maintains she never breached the ministerial code "to my knowledge".

Opposition integrity spokeswoman Fiona Simpson accused the Premier of misleading Queenslanders as the LNP ramped up the pressure for Ms Palaszczuk to fully explain her use of two private emails accounts and whether she misled the parliament when she previously said she'd never used her account for official purposes.

"This is about her integrity," Ms Simpson said, as Ms Palaszczuk would not explain how her private emails have been retained as public documents if she never used them for work business.

"First the Premier said she never used a private email account for government business.
"Now the corruption watchdog boss has forced her to admit her emails are ministerial records.

Opposition integrity spokeswoman Fiona Simpson
Opposition integrity spokeswoman Fiona Simpson

"We now have no choice but to demand all emails from both Annastacia Palaszczuk's secret accounts be investigated by the state archivist."

Ms Simpson said Ms Palaszczuk could no longer hide behind a Right to Information process. "We're beyond that now," she said.

"If they're public records, she must release the emails."

The Premier has repeatedly refused to say whether or not she used the private accounts - stacia1@bigpond.com and apbounce11@gmail.com - for government business.

She told parliament in 2017 that she had not, but has refused to repeat that in recent weeks.

MPs can be found in contempt if they knowingly mislead parliament and ministers are not allowed to use private emails to conduct government business under the ministerial code of conduct.

The Premier has insisted in her integrity and said the emails have been retained and have gone through proper RTI processes.

Asked why the emails had been retained if they didn't concern government business yesterday, Ms Palaszczuk said: "They are retained as a record so ministerial record under the State Archives Act is retained."

Asked later to explain why some of her personal emails had been retained as public records if she had never used her private email for government work, as stated in Parliament, Ms Palaszczuk's office did not respond.

Instead, a spokesman said: "These were events that occurred more than five years ago.

"I refer you to the Premier's previous comments on this matter."

The Opposition on Monday called for the emails to be publicly released so that Queenslanders could assess the contents for themselves and decide "whether or not it smells".

 

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Picture: Dan Peled/NCA NewsWire
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Picture: Dan Peled/NCA NewsWire

 

Originally published as Too far gone: Opposition says Premier can no longer hide


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