News Politics NSW Premier’s job in doubt as former lover makes damning admission

NSW Premier’s job in doubt as former lover makes damning admission

gladys berejiklian
Gladys Berejiklian is under increased scrutiny after this week's revelations at the NSW ICAC inquiry.
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NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is facing a motion of no-confidence, as her former lover reveals shocking details of his time in Parliament to an anti-corruption watchdog.

Daryl Maguire has confessed he used his Parliamentary office for personal business deals and admitted he should have updated the Premier on conflicts of interest.

Ms Berejiklian said she found some of the questions put to her relating to the inquiry “offensive”.

“Never ever have I done anything wrong in relation to my position. Never ever have I tolerated anybody else doing anything wrong and if I ever saw it or witnessed it or knew about it, of course, I would have taken action,” she said.

“But my tolerance for answering questions which frankly are offensive is waning.”

The NSW Premier was defiant when pressed on her knowledge of Mr Maguire’s dealings.

“Please, if I had any suspicion that any member of Parliament, whether it was him or anybody else was doing the wrong thing, using that I shall office for the wrong purposes, of course, I would have reported that.

“But this gentleman, well, this person had access to so many people and the ends result was nothing.”

Mr Maguire faced the Independent Commission Against Corruption on Wednesday, two days after Ms Berejiklian stunned her colleagues by revealing her five-year romance with the disgraced former MP.

Counsel assisting the commission, Scott Robertson, asked Mr Maguire whether he had used his position in Parliament to pursue personal business dealings.

“Do you agree that while you were a member of Parliament, you used your office in Parliament House in the course of seeking to pursue your own business interests?” Mr Robertson asked.

“Yes,” came the reply from Mr Maguire, who was the MP for Wagga Wagga from 1999 to 2018.

Mr Maguire told the inquiry that he had used his taxpayer-funded staff, email and facilities for his business deals and once received deliveries of “thousands of dollars” in cash to his office.

The money was associated with a scheme that involved securing Australian visas for Chinese nationals.

Mr Maguire admitted he “should have” updated the Premier about his conflicts of interest, as per his obligations under the NSW ministerial code of conduct.

Ms Berejiklian re-appointed Mr Maguire to a Parliamentary Secretary role when she became premier in January 2017.

Labor leader Jodi McKay accused Ms Berejiklian of having “turned a blind eye to corruption by failing to report her knowledge of Daryl Maguire’s business dealings for six and a half years, even after his resignation from Parliament in July 2018”.

On Monday, the inquiry heard intercepted phone conversations between Ms Berejiklian and Mr Maguire in which she said she didn’t need to know details about his business deals.

“I stuffed up in my personal life,” she said after the hearing.

“Had I known then what I know now, clearly I would not have made those personal decisions.”

On Tuesday Ms Berejiklian said she was “absolutely unaware” of any alleged impropriety by Mr Maguire and insisted she has done no wrong.

“If I was aware of any wrongdoing I would have reported it,” she said

Mr Maguire also admitted secretly directing a company called G8way International, a central focus of the inquiry and a vehicle from which the then-MP sought to make personal profits.

“At least in part, your parliament house office became a part-time office for the G8way International firm, do you agree?” Mr Robertson asked.

“Occasionally, yes,” Mr Maguire replied.

The ICAC is investigating a range of allegations against Mr Maguire including that he misused his public office to broker property deals in western Sydney that would financially benefit him.

The inquiry continues.

-with agencies