Disgraced Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire has defied calls to quit parliament, saying he is sparing taxpayers the “unreasonable” burden of funding a byelection.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption on Friday heard secret phone recordings of him discussing potential developer “dividends” in 2016 with then-Canterbury councillor Michael Hawatt.
Mr Maguire resigned from the Liberal Party and stood down as a parliamentary secretary.
But he stood firm against calls for him to quit parliament entirely on Monday.
In a video statement posted to Facebook, Mr Maguire said he would continue to represent Wagga Wagga until the New South Wales election in March.
He said he never intended to recontest the 2019 poll.
“These events have brought forward a decision that I’d already made not to contest the 2019 election. So it brings forward that announcement, and in the meantime up until the election date I’ll continue to work for the people of Wagga Wagga as I’ve always done.
“I won’t resign. I’m not going to resign. I’ve removed myself from the Liberal Party. I’ve resigned from the party only. But I won’t resign as a member of parliament.”
His Facebook page was later deleted or removed.
In the video statement, Mr Maguire acknowledged there were consequences for his conduct.
But I won’t put the taxpayer to the cost of having a byelection, I think that unreasonable and I think it’s a cost that the taxpayer doesn’t need.”
He apologised for offending friends and family, but said he was proud of what he’s achieved for the electorate.
“And I think everyone should be very proud and pleased with those achievements that have been made.”
Staying on means he will get another eight months’ worth of his $165,066 MP’s base salary until March.
Earlier on Monday, Labor’s acting opposition leader Michael Daley called for a full audit of meetings Mr Maguire had with any NSW cabinet ministers.
“What deals actually came to fruition? What meetings with ministers did Daryl Maguire have?” he told reporters.
“What about others that we don’t know about?”
Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Sunday suggested Mr Maguire reconsider his place in parliament.
She said the opening of nominations for the seat would be brought forward so an “appropriate” new Liberal Party candidate can be preselected.
Shooters Fishers and Farmers (SFF) Party MLC Robert Borsak called on Ms Berejiklian and Nationals Leader John Barilaro to guarantee they would not accept Mr Maguire’s “tainted vote” in parliament.
SFF plans to run a candidate in Wagga Wagga.
The ICAC inquiry heard telephone conversations of him trying to arrange with Mr Hawatt the “dividend” they’d get for helping arrange a multi-million-dollar property sale to a Chinese developer.
“1.5 per cent isn’t enough divided by two, if you know what I mean,” Mr Maguire was recorded as saying.
Mr Maguire told ICAC no commissions ever eventuated from brokering property deals with Mr Hawatt.
The veteran Liberal MP quit his role as parliamentary secretary for counter terrorism, corrections, veterans and the Centenary of ANZAC.