Queensland's Crime and Corruption Commission has retrieved 30,000 emails from the deleted private Yahoo account of state minister Mark Bailey following an investigation triggered by a right to information request.
Early this month the energy minister was accused of using the private account to lobby unions over a multi-million dollar superannuation merger, and of later deleting it to avoid a right to information application.
An RTI request from The Australian for the minister’s emails to determine the extent of lobbying was refused because the Yahoo account had been deleted after the request came in.
Bailey said he had deleted the account following a warning from premier Annastacia Palaszczuk about using personal email accounts for government business, and not as a result of the RTI. He has also argued the account was 20 years old and his first email address.
The minister was subsequently put under investigation by the premier's department as well as the state’s corruption watchdog.
Today the CCC said it had been able to retrieve more than 30,000 emails from the account with Bailey's co-operation.
But it has not yet decided whether it will investigate Bailey's use of the account for government business, as well as his deletion of the account.
The CCC said it would await the outcome of an investigation by the premier's department. It has directed agency boss Dave Stewart to work with the state archivist to review the contents of the emails and report back by June 15.
The corruption watchdog pointed out that many of the retrieved emails were from before Bailey's time as minister and "may not be relevant to the ongoing assessment".