Maguire admits to taking developer to meet with Premier

Daryl Maguire was grilled during two days of hearings at this week’s ICAC inquiry.

During his second appearance at the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) this week, former Wagga MP Daryl Maguire admitted to taking a property developer to meet with Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who he was in a secret relationship with.

He also admitted to discussing his debts with the Premier.

On Thursday, the Commission heard of a “drop-in” meeting between Ms Berejiklian and Mr Maguire’s Sydney property developer friend Joe Alha.

Mr Maguire had arranged a meeting with Mr Alha and a staff member of former planning minister Anthony Roberts, and after that, Mr Maguire and Mr Alha had “a glass or two of red wine.”

“Joe wanted to meet the premier, [he said] can we go and see Gladys, can we go and see Gladys?” Mr Maguire told the Commission.

“Yes, we’d had a couple of drinks. We were on the 12th floor and the premier is the eighth so I said we’ll go and see, we’ll do a drop-in. 

“Joe became a little bit insistent that we drop in and see Glad.”

Mr Maguire said that the drop-in meeting lasted “two minutes”, and when asked by counsel assisting Scott Robertson how they got into her office, he replied that he “wouldn’t have just walked in.”

“I don’t recall if there was a personal assistant, a receptionist there, there may have been, I would have asked, I wouldn’t have just walked in … I can’t recall exactly what was said,” Mr Maguire said.

“My recollection is we were there for probably less than two minutes, niceties were spoken, the premier knew Mr Alha from various functions and things that occurred.”

Mr Maguire said this meeting was the only time he remembers taking a property developer for a drop-in meeting with the premier or a minister.

When Mr Robertson asked if there had been any discussions relating to planning “general policy sense or in a site-specific sense”, Mr Maguire maintained it was just “general niceties.”

Mr Robertson asked if he arranged meetings between property developers and ministers or their staff “in the hope that ultimately there might be some profits flowing to you”, to which Mr Maguire replied, “not entirely.”

“It was at least a factor that weighed on your mind,” Mr Robertson asked.

“It could have been, yes,” Mr Maguire replied, pushed by Mr Robertson for an answer until he said “yes.”

Later in the hearing, Mr Robertson pressed Mr Maguire about discussions he had with the Premier about the Badgery’s Creek sale connected to racing heir Louise Raedler-Waterhouse.

The counsel assisting asked Mr Maguire what he told the Premier of the discussions.

“I don’t recall. I just don’t recall what I would have said,” Mr Maguire said, after a phone intercept had been played in which he’d said the sale would have cleared his $1.5 million debt.

“You at least kept her informed from time to time about the kind of things that you were involved in, in what I might call the business area, is that right?” Mr Robertson asked.

“In general conversation, yes. Yes,” Mr Maguire replied.

He admitted that he “may have raised” his debts, “seeking some guidance” or “reassurance” about what he was doing.

“I would have run it past her, perhaps, to get some – um, um – get her view,” Mr Maguire said.

The former Wagga MP told the Commission that the Premier was someone he discussed his future with, as well as the potential future for both of them moving forward.

Mr Maguire agreed that one of the things they discussed was going public with their relationship in the event that he retired from Parliament in the 2019 election.

He said that their relationship was “a bit on-again, off-again” and when asked by Mr Robertson if they would still be in a relationship, Mr Maguire replied “not after this I wouldn’t be.”