Maguire and Premier’s relationship probed

Former Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire is being investigated by the NSW ICAC following allegations of corruption.

Daryl Maguire appeared for a third time at the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) on Friday, speaking to the Commission on its last day of public hearings after the previous day was cut short by privacy concerns.

On Thursday, the Commission went into a private hearing to discuss sensitive details about the relationship between former Wagga MP Mr Maguire and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, after it was revealed last Monday the pair had been in a secret relationship.

A transcript of Thursday’s hearing, including the closed-door session, was wrongly uploaded that afternoon and left online for over 30 minutes.

Assistant Commissioner Ruth McColl began Friday’s hearing with an apology to Mr Maguire and Ms Berejiklian for the “inadvertent uploading” of the sensitive information.

Segments of Thursday’s closed hearing were later released for public viewing, which show Mr Maguire and Ms Berejiklian’s relationship as possibly starting earlier than they have both claimed.

Counsel assisting Scott Robertson asked Mr Maguire if it was possible that a “close personal relationship” had started between them “at some time prior to 2015”, to which Mr Maguire responded, “Yes.”

“I don’t know that I could put a date on it. We were always good friends and slowly over time the relationship developed,” Mr Maguire explained.

Mr Robertson said he wasn’t suggesting there was “some magic date,” but asked whether they had been in a relationship in the calendar year 2014 and 2013, to which Mr Maguire responded “yes” to both years.

Later in the private hearing, Mr Maguire changed his stance, saying that “I originally said ‘15 and I lean towards ‘15 still, or late ‘14. That was, that’s my recollection, somewhere there.”

“We had a relationship in ‘14, but I would call a very close personal relationship definitely developed into ‘15,” he added.

On Monday morning, Ms Berejiklian appeared on Sydney’s 2GB radio station and seemed to downplay her relationship with Mr Maguire whilst speaking to Ben Fordham.

Ms Berejiklian told ICAC that she was in a “close, personal relationship” with the former Wagga MP, however on Monday claimed that “it wasn’t a normal relationship.”

“He wasn’t my boyfriend. He wasn’t anything of note. I certainly hoped it would be …[but] because I’m not the sort of person who’d been in a long-term relationship, I didn’t want to introduce him to my social circle,” the Premier said.

Ms Berejiklian’s comments follow an interview she gave to The Sunday Telegraph over the weekend, in which she detailed her personal life and shared that she had been in love with Mr Maguire and believed they would get married.

Since the Premier appeared at ICAC and her secret-relationship was revealed, she has maintained that she did “nothing wrong” and is ignoring calls for her resignation from the state opposition.

Ms Berejiklian also survived two motions of no confidence in the lower and upper house of NSW last week.

The upper house vote was tied 20-20 until Liberal Party member John Ajaka voted in her favour. She was victorious in the lower house by a larger majority, with the votes 47-38 in her favour.