Gladys Berejiklian sweats as her secret lover Daryl Maguire steps into the witness box to be grilled over their five-year secret relationship
- Daryl Maguire arrives at ICAC inquiry after revelations of his secret love affair
- Premier Gladys Berejiklian kept their relationship hidden for five whole years
- Former Wagga MP accused of misuing his public office for financial gain
- The inquiry has heard how his phones, iPad allegedly went under a tractor
Gladys Berejiklian’s secret ex-lover has admitted he turned his parliamentary office over to a company that sold influence to ‘high levels of government’ and sought to act as a middleman between Chinese and Australian business people.
Daryl Maguire has also told a corruption inquiry bags of thousands of dollars of cash were sent to his office for a scheme which involved obtaining Australian visas for Chinese nationals.
The New South Wales Premier, 50, is under fire over claims that she turned a ‘blind eye’ to Maguire’s alleged behaviour during their five-year-long clandestine love affair.
Maguire, 61, resigned as Wagga Wagga MP in 2018. The politician is accused of misusing his public office to broker property deals in western Sydney for financial benefit.
The popular Liberal leader’s squeaky-clean image has been tarred by her revelation she kept a ‘close personal relationship’ with Maguire even after sacking him in 2018.
Shortly after the inquiry began on Wednesday, counsel assisting the inquiry, Scott Robertson, asked Maguire: ‘Would you agree that effectively, you turned your office in Parliament House on Macquarie Street into an office for Gateway International?’
‘Partly,’ he admitted.
The inquiry heard the firm was designed to be an intermediary between Chinese and Australian businesspeople and ‘get a clip along the way’.
It promoted itself as having ‘influence and expertise (that) reaches to high levels of government’ – a reference to himself.
Mr Robertson said he wasn’t suggesting it was the company’s full-time office – but ‘at least in part, your Parliament House office became a part-time office for the Gateway International firm, do you agree?
‘Occasional, yes,’ he replied.
Within the first half hour, Mr Maguire had also admitted to using parliamentary staff to further his personal business interests and to
Daryl Maguire has stepped into the witness box at the ICAC inquiry to give evidence after his former lover Gladys Berejiklian revealed their secret relationship
Gladys Berejiklian’s career is on the line as her ex-lover Maguire gives evidence at the ICAC in Sydney, two days after she revealed their secret relationship
The Premier is above with Maguire in happier times
Berejiklian claims she kept the relationship hidden from her family, friends and colleagues and cut off all contact just last month.
Reports on Wednesday heaped further pressure on the Premier amid concerns her private relationship could have seen her targeted by foreign agents.
Nine newspapers revealed the Premier had met with two publicans with criminal records at the behest of Maguire in 2018 after at least one minister allegedly refused.
On Tuesday, the ICAC inquiry heard that Maguire had told a former associate he had an ‘unfortunate accident’ where his phones and iPad were destroyed by a tractor.
Maggie Wang said she met the Wagga MP at a Sydney coffee shop after he retired from Parliament in 2018.
Asked what they talked about, Ms Wang said: ‘I think I remember … he mentioned about a unfortunate, unfortunate accident in the paddock with his phones and iPad.’
She then clarified the accident was ‘under tractors.’
Counsel assisting the inquiry Scott Robertson said: ‘So what, he said something like, ‘There’s been an unfortunate accident where my phones and iPad have been,’ what, ‘Run over by a tractor,’ something like that?’
‘Yeah, something like that,’ Ms Wang said.
Evidence in front of the inquiry showed Maguire repeatedly raised his business dealings with Berejiklian over a number of years.
Berejiklian and Maguire are seen meeting the Chinese leader Xi Jinping in 2014, in a photograph tendered to the Independent Commission Against Corruption
Berejiklian on Monday listened to a phone tap where Maguire discussed his attempts to cash in on the development of a second airport at Badgerys Creek.
‘We’ve done our deal so hopefully that’s about half of all that gone now,’ Maguire said before the premier replied: ‘I don’t need to know about that bit.’
Ms Berejikilan has insisted that she has ‘done nothing wrong’ and was not aware of any wrongdoing by Maguire.
‘I stuffed up in my personal life,’ she said after the hearing on Monday.
‘Had I known then what I know now, clearly I would not have made those personal decisions.’
Prime Minister Scott Morrison today again threw his weight behind Ms Berejiklian, saying she should not resign because she has been a great leader during the coronavirus pandemic.
‘Right now New South Wales needs Gladys Berejiklian more than ever,’ he told radio 2GB.
He added: ‘It would have been incredibly tough to admit to some personal decisions that obviously she regrets. And she’s been very upfront with people, and I think very vulnerable with people about it. But in that vulnerability, there’s been great strength. And, you know, her integrity is not in question.’
Labor leader Jodi McKay gave notice she would move a motion of no confidence against the premier in parliament on Wednesday.
‘She turned a blind eye to corruption in her government by failing to report her knowledge of Daryl Maguire’s business dealings for six and a half years,’ Ms McKay said.
The vote is likely to fail because the government has a majority in the lower house.
Mr Maguire is expected to be grilled for two days before the four-week inquiry wraps.
A timeline of Gladys Berejiklian and Daryl Maguire’s relationship
* Berejiklian and Maguire begin a ‘close personal relationship’ around the time of the NSW election. Berejiklian was the transport minister while Maguire, a parliamentary secretary, was separated from his ex-wife.
APRIL 2, 2015:
* Berejiklian is appointed NSW treasurer after the coalition is re-elected.
JANUARY 23, 2017:
* Berejiklian becomes NSW premier, replacing Mike Baird. Maguire is retained as a parliamentary secretary in her government.
* Berejiklian tells Maguire she would like him to quit parliament at the 2019 election so the pair can go public with their relationship.
Berejiklian says Maguire also wanted that.
SEPTEMBER 7, 2017:
* Ms Berejiklian is heard in a telephone intercept saying she ‘didn’t need to know about that bit’ as Mr Maguire discusses his financial interests at Badgerys Creek Airport, and a land deal which would net him a large windfall.
A day earlier, Mr Maguire texted Ms Berejiklian that ‘we clinched the land deal’.
* Louise Waterhouse, a western Sydney landowner, twice emailed Berejiklian after being given her private address by Maguire. She requested help with rezoning changes around Badgerys Creek Airport that would benefit a parcel of her land. Berejiklian did not respond.
JULY 13, 2018:
* Maguire appears before ICAC, with evidence heard that he sought payments to help broker deals for property developers.
AUGUST 3, 2018:
* Maguire resigns from the Berejiklian government at the behest of Ms Berejiklian and other frontbenchers, with Berejiklian saying she is ‘pleased’ and ‘relieved’ but privately she remains in contact with Maguire.
MARCH 23, 2019:
* The coalition retains government in the 2019 NSW election.
SEPTEMBER 13, 2020:
* Berejiklian cuts off all contact with Maguire and agrees to support an ICAC inquiry into his business interests.
OCTOBER 12, 2020:
* Berejiklian’s relationship with Maguire is revealed at ICAC.