A month ago, Gladys Berejiklian resigned following the announcement by the Independent Corruption Commission that she was investigating the premier of New South Wales for breaching public trust when she awarded grants to several community organizations in the NSW Riverina area between 2012 and 2018.
Last week and this week, the watchdog examined whether there was a conflict between Ms Berejiklian’s public duties and her private interests when she was in a relationship with former Liberal MP for Wagga Wagga, Daryl Maguire.
Below are key quotes from the evidence Ms. Berejiklian provided to the ICAC investigation on Friday October 29 and Monday November 1 and previous secretly recorded conversations involving Ms. Berejiklian and Mr. Maguire.
ICAC hearing, Friday October 29
“I saw him as part of my circle of love, part of people I loved very much, but I wouldn’t have put him in the same category as my parents or my sisters. I had very strong feelings for him. . . But I didn’t feel like the relationship was at a stage where I would necessarily introduce it to my parents or sisters or have to declare it, but I don’t want to emphasize how I felt. Ms. Berejiklian on her relationship with Daryl Maguire.
“If you could have your time again, would you disclose your close personal relationship with Mr. Maguire to your ministerial colleagues or to any of them?” Commission counsel, Scott Robertson, to Ms Berejiklian. “I didn’t think it was of a standard or of sufficient importance to do it” Ms. Berejiklian replied.
“You are my family.” Mrs Berejiklian to Mr. Maguire in an April 2018 SMS delivered to the ICAC.
“I can’t stand this guy. His head will be gone soon. Mrs Berejiklian speaks with Mr. Maguire, a New South Wales bureaucrat involved in the Riverina Conservatorium of Music proposal.
“I’m going to throw some money at Wagga, a lot, don’t worry about that.” Ms. Berejiklian during a bugged phone call to Mr. Maguire.
“I can cancel them.” Ms Berejiklian in a bugged phone call in response to Mr Maguire, who suggested that at least one project, one stadium, was blocked by bureaucrats.
“What they’re doing is marginalizing the art of politics. Our job is to mix with people. [Now] you can’t meet a developer. Sir Maguire on a wiretap with Ms. Berejiklian, in a apparent reference to the ICAC.
“They could record your conversation with me right now.” You wouldn’t know. Sir Maguire in the same wiretap to Ms Berejiklian about an earlier ICAC investigation he was summoned to.
“I trusted him. He told me he hadn’t done anything wrong. Mrs Berejiklian, when asked if she had ever suspected Maguire of corruption.
“Are you stressed about this?” Mrs Berejiklian to Maguire regarding a 2018 ICAC investigation, in which Mr. Maguire testified. Responded Sir Maguire: “No, calm, calm as a cucumber. Do I sleep, yes I do.
ICAC hearing, Monday, November 1
“I didn’t take that little advice, obviously.” Ms Berejiklian revealing that she had not followed the advice of former chief of staff Sarah Cruickshank, who had told her “to have nothing more to do” with Mr Maguire.
“I don’t know why you are asking me a political question, but in any case I have had a close personal relationship with him which has fluctuated.” Ms Berejiklian asked if it would have been a much bigger political controversy if she had always had a relationship with Mr Maguire when she forced him out of politics.
“I didn’t think that would happen. I don’t even think I paid attention. Mrs Berejiklian answering questions on a 2017 call with Mr Maguire where he said he believed he might be able to secure a $ 1.5 million payment for a land deal around Badgerys Creek.
“Whether I listened or cared about it is another matter. I did not assume any wrongdoing. Mrs Berejiklian explains why she did not report the alleged corruption of Daryl Maguire. “My radar has not increased.
“You must have a private phone. ” Mr. Maguire to Ms. Berejiklian in a text message asking her to download the WeChat encrypted messaging app.“They can read texts but the little green man can’t, it leaves no trace.”
“I questioned everything. I cannot express how much of a shock this has been for the system ”, Ms. Berejiklian questioned about evidence provided by Mr. Maguire during a previous ICAC investigation in 2018. “I thought about everything for a long time … I never suspected him of being corrupt.”
“I appreciate that she has a different memory.” Ms Berejiklian when questioned by the lawyer acting for her former chief of staff, Sarah Cruickshank, on whether the relationship with Mr Maguire was considered “historic,” Ms Cruickshank testified.
“I wasn’t sure what he was doing… I didn’t suspect him of corrupt behavior.” Ms. Berejiklian when asked why she had not reported to the ICAC what Mr. Maguire told her during a phone call on July 5, 2018.
“I’ve always kept my distance from people like that. It’s just that … I think they’re dodgy. Ms Berejiklian in a call responding to Mr Maguire mentioning a specific advisor and others.
“No. I’m completely comfortable with who I am and what I’ve done, and my record. When asked if she had not reported to the ICAC, Ms Berejiklian feared she would be in the same cloud as Mr Maguire if she did.