During Friday’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) hearing, it was heard that former Wagga MP Daryl Maguire had sought to “limit the information” he shared with Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who he had been in a secret relationship with, because telling her too much about his business deals would have put her “in a really difficult position” and “wouldn’t reflect well on her.”
ICAC has spent four weeks investigating Mr Maguire following allegations that he breached the public’s trust by using his position for personal benefit.
Mr Maguire said that despite limiting what he told the Premier, she also “did not want to know.”
One situation in which Mr Maguire admitted he had attempted to keep information from Ms Berejiklian was in relation to a western Sydney land deal at Badgery’s Creek, owned by Louise Raedler-Waterhouse, which he believed would help pay off his $1.5 million debt if successful.
He agreed with counsel assisting Scott Robertson that he “sought to shield some of that information from Ms Berejiklian.”
“She was, at least to some extent, a sounding board or someone with whom you might discuss the kinds of things that you were involved in, at least in general terms, is that right?” Mr Robertson asked, to which Mr Maguire said “Yes.”
Mr Maguire also agreed that “there was a line at which [he] wouldn’t fix her with knowledge in relation to [his] activities.”
ICAC played a phone call from 2017 in which Mr Maguire told Ms Berejiklian he was confident in securing the Badgery’s Creek land deal. Ms Berejiklian can be heard telling him, “I don’t need to know that bit.”
Mr Maguire had told the Premier that he had coffee with Ms Raedler-Waterhouse, also explaining details of what they had discussed.
“She said I’ve been two years trying to get this road on,” Mr Maguire was heard saying on the phone. “‘.. and they just won’t do anything and I said OK. So I got Roads, I got Jock to come down and I got um, one bloke from your place there, got them to put their heads together and said look, why can’t you fix this.”
Mr Robertson asked if there were “particular bits of information” that the Premier didn’t want to know about his activities, and Mr Maguire replied “Well, yes.”
“And where is the line drawn, at least in your mind, as to what you would share in relation to your what I’ll call ‘outside business activities’ and what you’d not share?” Mr Robertson asked.
“I think the line is just general discussion, general overview, and that was about it,” Mr Maguire replied.
Mr Maguire also admitted on Friday that he destroyed documents that might implicate him, also telling staff to “wipe everything” from his office computers.
“I was determined not to leave anything for the next incoming member, including the things that the staff argued we should leave; my policy was to destroy the equipment,” Mr Maguire said.
Mr Robertson asked Mr Maguire if he wanted to destroy the material “with a view of keeping it away from this Commission”, and he replied, “Partly yes.”
Mr Maguire also told the Commission that a story he had told a visa scheme associate about his electronic devices being destroyed via an “unfortunate incident in the paddock” was made up.
“I don’t think the tractor ran over it. I was just being stupid. I don’t know why I said it,” Mr Maguire said.