NSW premier won’t quit over ICAC evidence

A defiant Gladys Berejiklian says won’t resign as NSW premier, despite opposition calls for her head after the stunning revelation she had a relationship with a disgraced former MP at the centre of a high-level corruption probe.

Ms Berejiklian on Monday afternoon said her relationship with ex-Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire spanning several years, which she admitted at an inquiry into his allegedly corrupt business dealings, was a mistake.

“I stuffed up in my personal life,” she told reporters.


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

“I trusted someone that I’d known for a long time, and I feel really, really let down.”

“Whilst I have made this mistake in my personal life, I intend to serve the people of NSW to the best of my ability.”

She insisted she had not been accused of any wrongdoing, saying there was a “huge” distinction between her public and private life and admitting she had not even told her family or closest friends about the relationship.

NSW Opposition Leader Jodi McKay demanded Ms Berejiklian resign, saying she had maintained her relationship with “a disgraced member of this parliament” even after his ICAC-prompted 2018 resignation and had been privy to his “dodgy dealing”.

Ms KcKay flagged she would move a motion of no confidence in the premier on Tuesday in parliament.

.”If you thought you knew Gladys Berejiklian, then think again,” Ms McKay told reporters.

“This premier is a fraud and today she’s been unmasked.”

When facing the Indenpedent Commission Against Corruption inquiry on Monday, the premier revealed the covert relationship with the disgraced MP, saying she had wanted to make it public.

But Ms Berejiklian denied knowledge of his dealings, and that she had deliberately blinded herself to information about Mr Maguire’s financial interests and attempts to clear his $1.5 million debt in order to maintain plausible deniability.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption has accused Mr Maguire of using his public office and parliamentary resources to improperly gain a benefit for himself or for G8way International – a company Mr Maguire allegedly “effectively controlled”.

Mr Maguire was forced to quit Ms Berejiklian’s government in 2018 after a separate ICAC inquiry heard evidence he sought payments to help broker deals for property developers.

At the time, Ms Berejiklian said she was “pleased and relieved” he resigned.

But on Monday she revealed she had a “personal attachment” to Mr Maguire and their relationship, which began in 2015, had been kept under wraps for the sake of privacy.

They last spoke on September 13 – less than a month ago.

Ms Berejiklian admitted to ICAC she had encouraged encouraging her covert boyfriend and “numero uno” Daryl Maguire in a 2017 conversation to quit parliament at the 2019 NSW election so they could go public with their relationship.

Despite this professed wish, she repeatedly insisted she had little knowledge of Mr Maguire’s interests and labelled him a “big talker” who came up with “pie in the sky” schemes and “a lot of the time I would have ignored or disregarded what he said as fanciful”.

Recordings of phone calls between the pair played on Monday, in which Mr Maguire discusses various business deals, appeared to contradict the premier.

She said she presumed Mr Maguire had appropriately disclosed his interests.

Upon questioning from counsel assisting Scott Robertson, Ms Berejiklian denied deliberately distancing herself from specific details on Mr Maguire’s affairs in an attempt at self-preservation.

She also repeatedly declared she had no interest in Mr Maguire’s debt issues.

© AAP 2020