Queensland Transport Minister Mark Bailey has resigned from his cabinet role before he could be shown the exit by incoming premier Steven Miles.
While outgoing Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had refused to sack the minister, Miles was understood to be preparing to move him to the backbench at the request of numerous MPs, according to media reports.
“If Bailey is not removed from cabinet, there will be a revolt,” one Left faction MP told The Australian newspaper this week.
Miles officially steps into the top job tomorrow (December 15) with his new cabinet expected to be sworn in on Monday.
“It is has been the honour and privilege of my life to serve for nearly nine years as a Palaszczuk Labor government minister including six years as the longest serving transport minister since the 1980s,” Bailey said in a statement announcing his resignation.
“With a new premier looking to renew the ministry, it is time for me to step aside from cabinet and support the promotion of one of our many talented younger Labor MPs.”
Bailey is still intending to contest October’s state election as the Member for Miller, his office confirmed.
In 2017, Premier Palaszczuk sidelined Bailey from cabinet duties after Queensland’s corruption watchdog, the Crime and Corruption Commission, found a “reasonable suspicion of corrupt conduct” over his use of a personal email address.
The watchdog found Bailey had breached the Ministerial Handbook by using his private account for official business, and was “foolish”, but he was not criminally charged because the deleted emails were eventually able to be retrieved.
The then CCC chair Alan MacSporran said Bailey was “incredibly lucky” not to be facing charges.