Queensland Deputy Premier Jackie Trad has labelled fellow minister Mark Bailey's destruction of work-related emails from his private account an "error in judgement" but defended his ministerial efforts.
It found that there was a "reasonable suspicion of corrupt conduct" and directed State Archivist Mike Summerell to investigate further.
The use of a private email server by the minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports and minister for Energy and Water Supply came to attention of the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) after allegations he had "used his personal email account to engage in negotiations with the Electrical Trades Union that would amount to corrupt conduct".
"The use by a minister of a private email account for ministerial purposes is not of itself corrupt conduct", it said.
"I met with Mark Bailey tonight and I have asked him to stand aside as minister pending the outcome of the state archivist investigation into his deactivation of his personal email account", Palaszczuk said on Wednesday.
But Ms Trad defended Mr Bailey. "The types of emails, their content, conduct and decisions relating to such emails and how the emails are treated if they are public records need to be considered to determine whether it is corrupt conduct".
He argued the account - email@example.com - was about 20 years old and his first email address, well before his time in politics.
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"This isn't some sort of private email account transferring information between home and a private citizen".
"The CCC identified during its review of the emails a number of other ministers using private email accounts".
The watchdog said it hadn't identified any corrupt conduct in these cases of private email use, but said it "lacks transparency and is a corruption risk".
"Quite clearly Mark Bailey failed to live up to the high standards that are expected of a Queensland government minister, when it comes to maintaining official records", he told ABC Radio Brisbane.
State Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls has called on Mr Bailey to resign over the matter, and criticised the Premier for taking so long to act.
"The Crime and Corruption Commission has made it clear that the deleting of his private email account shows "there is sufficient evidence to raise a reasonable suspicion of corruption", Mr Nicholls said. "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept".
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