'I intend to get on with my life': Berejiklian outside Icac

Just a brief update before we close this blog. Berejiklian spoke outside of the Icac not long ago.

She told the media she was now “stronger than ever” and said it was an “honour and privilege to serve you in my role in public life”.

Now I intend to get on with my life and I want to thank everybody for their support. My position has not changed. Every day that I have dealt with the public, every day I have made decisions [that have] been in their best interest. For the public, the government, the community. It has been my honour and privilege to serve the community in that way.

She said she respects that it is the job of the Icac to “look at these matters”.


Another remarkable day at Icac

The commission adjourns for the foreseeable future.

The next step in its investigation is for submissions to be made by the parties. Then we’ll eventually receive the commission’s report.

For now, let’s summarise what was an explosive morning of evidence.

  • The commission revealed text messages in which Maguire urged Berejiklian to get a “private phone” and download the secure messaging app WeChat. He had just been subpoenaed to appear at Icac. Berejiklian refused.
  • The former premier was pressed on her decision not to report her knowledge of Maguire’s dealings to Icac. She said repeatedly that she trusted him, believed him, and didn’t think she had any knowledge that would have been useful to the commission. That’s despite Maguire’s appearance at Icac suggesting to her that he had lied about the nature of his involvement in a money-making scheme between a Canterbury City Council member and property developers. She said she “never suspected him of being corrupt” and “did not join the dots”.
  • She denied being influenced by her feelings for Maguire when deciding whether to make a report to Icac.
  • Berejiklian gave another startling account of the reality of grant funding. She said it was common practice to divert funds to seats for political gain during by-elections. She said that had been one of her main motivators in funding both the Riverina Conservatorium of Music’s new recital hall and the Australian Clay Target Association’s new facilities. Berejiklian denied she had funded the conservatorium project to give Maguire a “legacy” upon his resignation.
  • Berejiklian was pressed on what she told her then chief of staff, Sarah Cruickshank, about her relationship with Maguire in 2018, after he was embroiled in the Canterbury council scandal. Cruickshank recalls her saying the relationship was “historical”. Berejiklian says she did not intend to give that impression and only sought to convey the relationship was “on again, off again” and was close.

Thanks again for sticking with me.

Former NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian arrives at the Independent Commission Against Corruption hearing this morning.
Former NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian arrives at the Independent Commission Against Corruption hearing this morning. Photograph: Dean Lewins/AAP


Berejiklian's evidence ends and Icac adjourns

And that’s the extent of her evidence.

Berejiklian is released from her summons. So is Maguire.


Callan asks Berejiklian: What do you say to the suggestion that you had a “private interest” – Maguire’s relationship with her – that influenced your public duties?

Berejiklian responds:

I completely reject that suggestion.


Berejiklian’s lawyer, Sophie Callan, SC, is now asking questions.

She begins by asking how often Berejiklian would have had concerns, roadblocks, or problems raised with her by MPs.

Berejiklian says that happened all too often. That was her leadership style, she said.

It would have been telephone, SMS, some would have dropped into my office when parliament was sitting ... formal correspondence ... there were a myriad of ways.

She’s asked about the funding of the Australian Clay Target Association project. She had previously said Daryl Maguire’s advocacy may have been a factor in her support.

Berejiklian says the overriding factor was the Orange by-election loss and the government’s problems with regional voters.

But she says you always consider the views of the local member.

There’s no point strongly supporting a project which has statewide significance or otherwise if the local member doesn’t support it.

Gladys Berejiklian (left) and her lawyer Sophie Callan SC arrive at the Icac hearing in Sydney on Monday.
Gladys Berejiklian and her lawyer Sophie Callan SC (right) arrive at the Icac hearing. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP


Former Berejiklian chief of staff Sarah Cruickshank’s lawyers now begin their examination.

They are confirming that Berejiklian holds Cruickshank in high esteem. She confirms she does.

Berejiklian is asked about their conversation in July 2018, in which the then premier told her about the relationship with Maguire.

Cruickshank says the premier told her the relationship was over. Berejiklian does not recall that.


It is not uncommon for two people to have two different versions in their head.

Cruickshank’s lawyers are attempting to make it clear that she did not report anything to Icac because she was told the relationship was over.


Berejiklian denies she wanted to fund the conservatorium to give Maguire a legacy when he resigned.

I think Mr Maguire’s legacy was not relevant then, because we had a new Liberal candidate then. Anything we announced would have been her legacy.

And that’s the end of Robertson’s questioning.

The commission is played a recording of a call between Maguire and Berejiklian on 30 July 2018.

Berejiklian tells Maguire that she needs to go because Maguire is “stressing” her.

He responds:

I’ll go and chill, you just throw money at Wagga.

Berejiklian says:

I’ll throw money at Wagga, don’t you worry about that. Lots of it.

We’ve heard this before.

Another recording is played.

Berejiklian says:

I’ll throw money at Wagga, you just have to do what’s right at your end, or else you’ll kill me.

Maguire tells her to fund a stadium in the city. He complains that the “bureaucrats” killed off the proposal.

Berejiklian says:

Yes, but I can overrule them.

The calls end.

Berejiklian is asked whether the phrase “throw money at Wagga” meant spending money to win a by-election, regardless of the merits of individual projects.

The former premier says she doesn’t believe the two are mutually exclusive. They can benefit the community and be politically beneficial.

Throwing money at by-elections a 'regular political activity': Berejiklian

Gladys Berejiklian is shown a letter from her office to John Barilaro, guaranteeing the conservatorium project $20m from the regional communities development fund. The grant was a competitive fund.

The effect of that was to carve out the $20m so that it could only be used for the conservatorium’s new recital hall.

Berejiklian says she made a “high-level, strategic” decision to fund the project and left the detail of how the money was awarded to others.

She said her decision would help the community and improve the prospects of the Liberal candidate in the looming by-election.

It’s a regular political activity that governments try to win seats, try to keep their seats, as does an opposition. I don’t think it would be a surprise to anybody that we throw money at seats to keep them.


The former premier is shown departmental advice on the funding for the conservatorium’s new recital hall, which suggested it did not have widespread support and could be seen as a “political announcement”.

Berejiklian says the department is not expert at “winning byelections”:

At the end of the day, whether we like it or not, that’s democracy.

She said she would not disregard what Maguire, who had held the seat for two decades, thought would win the byelection.


Berejiklian concedes Maguire suggested to her that she should fund the Riverina Conservatorium of Music’s new recital hall before the byelection caused by his resignation.

She was evidently shown evidence to that effect during the private hearing just now. She replies:

The answer is yes, but I wouldn’t have remembered it unless you showed it to me.

She says the project had wide community support:

It’s not uncommon during byelections to make announcements that are going to get you wide support.

Berejiklian says she can’t remember who in her office supported the project, if anyone.


Robertson asks whether Maguire gave any advice to Berejiklian on what she should do about the scandal enveloping him in July 2018.

She says she’s “sure he did”:

He was never backward in giving his advice on these matters.

The commission goes to SMS from 16 July 2018 in which Maguire urges her to “get stuck into me ... good for party morale”.

Maguire announced his resignation from parliament the following Saturday.


Robertson asks, given that Berejiklian was encouraging others to come forward, why she didn’t reflect on her own need to make a report to Icac?

Berejiklian said she had already given the matter “considerable thought” from 13 July 2018, the date Maguire appeared at Icac:

I obviously didn’t have any information to report. I commend and congratulate whoever provided this information, but clearly they had something specific.

Robertson again asks if her decision not to come forward was affected by her fear that she would be caught up in the scandal. Berejiklian replies: “Absolutely not.”

If there was any suspicion of corruption, any information I thought I could have passed on to this body, I would have.

Robertson asks if her failure to report was due to her feelings for Maguire:

No, gosh.


We’re back from the private hearing.

The commission hears that the former premier was given a ministerial briefing about Maguire and the ongoing Operation Dasher, the probe into Canterbury City Council that led to his resignation.

She’s asked whether she assumed at the time that the information being provided concerned Maguire.

All I’m saying is it was a very general note, I assumed it was about that inquiry, and of course I encouraged my department to pass on any information, allow anyone to report what they needed to report.

Berejiklian said she wrote a note on the briefing to encourage others to proactively go to Icac to give evidence.

Scott Robertson wants to keep pursuing this topic. But he wants to do so in private, away from the public eye, at least in the first instance.

He says he is attempting to balance what is in the public interest with the protection of private matters. This inquiry has had to walk a fine line in that respect.

The commission goes into private hearing mode, with lawyers for Sarah Cruickshank and Gladys Berejiklian allowed to stay in the room.

We’ll be back with you shortly.


Robertson again asks for an answer to the “question I asked you about 10 minutes ago”.

He asks Berejiklian about her claim that it wouldn’t have mattered politically whether the relationship was ongoing in July 2018. She replies:

In terms of the political controversy, that’s for others to determine. But I’ve been very open to this body that it was on again, off again, of different intensity.

The former premier continues to say she can’t recall whether she told Cruickshank that the Maguire relationship was ongoing or historical:

I remember telling her how close we were. The time that we spent together.

She says she didn’t intend to convey that the relationship was over but suggests she may have said she had more free time when she was treasurer, compared with when she was premier.


Robertson is pressing Berejiklian on her claim that it would have made no difference, politically, if her relationship with Maguire was ongoing or historical in July 2018, when he was caught up in the Icac scandal:

You’re not seriously suggesting, are you, that the question of the timing of the relationship was a completely irrelevant matter in relation to the issue of political risk that you and I have discussed?

Berejiklian said she had a close relationship with Maguire, regardless of the timing, and “either way that was a political consideration”.

Robertson brings her back to the question.

Berejiklian says she made it clear to Cruickshank that the relationship was close.


Berejiklian denies lying to chief of staff about Maguire relationship

Gladys Berejiklian describes the period of Daryl Maguire’s 2018 Icac appearance as “very scary” and says she kept racking her mind over whether she knew anything that she needed to report to Icac.

She came to the conclusion that she didn’t but also that she needed to tell her chief of staff Sarah Cruickshank, she says:

Politically, she had a right to know. And I imparted that information to her. But having said that, because of what had transpired that day, I did question what I knew and what I didn’t know, and pored over, in my head, was there anything that I needed to do. And I came to the conclusion that there wasn’t.

Berejiklian says Cruickshank told her to “not have anything more to do with him”.

The former premier says she did not follow that advice.

She says she told Cruickshank that the relationship was “off again, on again”.

She can’t remember telling Cruickshank that the relationship was “historical”:

I left her in no doubt that I was close to Mr Maguire, the exact words or what we spoke about, I can’t confirm. That’s just my recollection.

Scott Robertson:

Did you lie to Ms Cruickshank regarding the timing of the relationship?


No that’s just my recollection ... I can only tell you what I recollect, and I did tell her about the closeness of the relationship.

Commissioner Ruth McColl suggests that, at that point in time, it was a crucial fact that she was still engaged in a relationship with Maguire, which would have been “politically explosive”.

Berejiklian said it would have been explosive, whatever the timing of the relationship:

I can’t remember all the details of our conversation but I made it known that I was close to him, it was on again, off again, I tried to convey as much as I could.


The hearing has resumed.

We’re now hearing about Gladys Berejiklian’s actions after forcing Daryl Maguire to resign in July 2018. That took place after his appearance at Icac, where the nature of his involvement in the Canterbury city council scandal was revealed.

Berejiklian called Sarah Cruickshank, her chief of staff, who was on leave, on 13 July 2018. We’ve previously heard that this call was when Cruickshank first learnt of Berejiklian’s relationship with Maguire:

I just wanted to make sure that she knew that whatever had occurred that day was a complete shock to me, and I just felt like I needed to share how close we were.

Why didn’t she share it earlier?

Berejiklian said she was shocked at what had transpired.

Scott Robertson asks whether Berejiklian told Cruickshank because she was concerned that if the relationship became public, the premier would also be caught up in the “cloud” surrounding Maguire?


It wasn’t my main concern.


Was it at least a consideration?


It could have been.


What we've learned so far

We’ve taken a short adjournment after a lengthy line of questioning about Gladys Berejiklian’s decision not to report Daryl Maguire to Icac.

Let’s take stock of what we learned this morning:

  • Berejiklian was pressed, repeatedly, on why she did not tell Icac about her conversations with Maguire in July 2018, once she realised he had been lying to her about the nature of his involvement in a “money-making scheme” involving property developers and the Canterbury city council.
  • She said she “never suspected him of being corrupt” and “did not join the dots” between his appearance at Icac and other questionable land dealings he had spoken to her about. She said she assumed he had been caught up in something unintentionally and that the commission’s investigation had not yet run its course.
  • Berejiklian denied that her failure to report Maguire was influenced by her feelings for him or her fear of being enveloped in the scandal herself. She said she would have reported him if she had any information or suspicion that he was engaged in corrupt conduct. She repeatedly asked: “What would I have reported?”. Counsel assisting Scott Robertson suggested she could have reported her conversations with Maguire and told the commission she believed him innocent of wrongdoing.
  • The commission heard that Maguire, after being summoned to Icac in 2018, urged the premier to get a “private phone”. The premier said she did not do so. Maguire also told her he had “more info and data than them”.
  • Berejiklian forced Maguire to resign from the party and his parliamentary secretary position after his appearance at Icac in July 2018, when the nature of his involvement in the Canterbury council scandal was revealed. Despite that, she maintained that she had not suspected him of corrupt conduct. She said only that there was a “cloud” surrounding his activities at the time.

We’ll be back shortly.

Gladys Berejiklian outside Icac this morning
Gladys Berejiklian outside Icac this morning. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images


Berejiklian denies her 'feelings' stopped her from reporting Maguire to Icac

Scott Robertson asks whether Gladys Berejiklian didn’t report to Icac because she feared that she would be enveloped in the “cloud” surrounding Daryl Maguire.

She replies:

No, because I knew in my heart of hearts that not only was I incapable of doing anything that I felt was wrong, but I’m always someone who stands up for my actions and there was nothing I was concerned with.

Was her failure to report Maguire influenced by her feelings for him?

No, because I sacked him.

Was it influenced by any aspect of their relationship?

It was based on the fact that I didn’t feel I knew anything.


'I did not join the dots': Berejiklian

Gladys Berejiklian says what Daryl Maguire had told her during the phone call of 5 July 2018 was “insignificant” and that she wouldn’t have “retained” it:

The question I asked myself was did I know anything? ... and the answer very strongly in my mind is that I didn’t know anything about what this commission was looking at … I chose not to be interested or involved in his personal matters.

Scott Robertson says Berejiklian could have said all of that in a report to Icac. She could have told the commission that she believed Maguire when he protested his innocence.

Berejiklian says she didn’t have any information of value.

Robertson suggests to her that Maguire had told her other details, not related to the then inquiry into Canterbury council, that she could have given to Icac.

He raises the Badgerys Creek land deals that Maguire had discussed with Berejiklian.


I did not join the dots, I did not think there was anything untoward.

She said she wouldn’t have recalled or retained that information, because she didn’t think there was any wrongdoing.

I didn’t suspect him of corrupt conduct. That to me was, completely, not the person I knew, not the person I trusted.


Commissioner Ruth McColl presses on this point. Why, after Daryl Maguire’s testimony to Icac, didn’t Gladys Berejiklian report her earlier phone conversation, during which she warned him against engaging with “dodgy” associates?


With all due respect commissioner, what would I have reported?

McColl says she could have reported all of the detail that Maguire had given her about his associations and interactions with the Canterbury city council and property developers.


But what he told me was that he wasn’t doing anything wrong.

Scott Robertson asks her how her belief that he had not done anything wrong could be true, given she removed him from his parliamentary role and issued a public statement condemning him.

Berejiklian says she knew only that Maguire was under a “cloud”.


Robertson reminds Berejiklian that, during her 52-minute phone call with Maguire before his Icac appearance, she repeatedly insisted she believed him, trusted him and therefore did not think he was engaged in wrongdoing.

Had that not “exploded” when his later Icac appearance showed to Berejiklian that he was lying, Robertson asks.

The former premier again says that she only thought Maguire had been caught up in something unintentionally and had associated with people engaged in wrongdoing:

I certainly did not know of anything, if I had I would have reported something. What came to fruition on the 13th [July] was on public display.

A still from this morning’s live stream of the hearing
A still from this morning’s live stream of the hearing. Photograph: Icac


'I never suspected him of being corrupt': Berejiklian

Scott Robertson gets to the nub of this line of questioning. Did you suspect Mr Maguire had been engaged in corrupt conduct, he asks.

Gladys Berejiklian:

I didn’t.

She says she thought Maguire had been caught up in something unintentionally:

I didn‘t put it past him that he was caught up in something that he wasn’t totally aware of ... I never suspected him of being corrupt.

Given that Berejiklian removed him from his role and put him on the crossbench and issued a public statement saying Maguire had “let down his constituents”, hadn’t she at least suspected he was engaged in corrupt conduct?

She says she knew he was under “a cloud” but said the Icac investigation, Operation Dasher, still had to run its course.

Robertson asks Berejiklian whether she should have told Icac everything she knew about Maguire at this point:

I had nothing to report. There was nothing that I knew, nothing that I remembered, nothing that I thought was of any relevance.


Robertson is pressing Berejiklian on whether she thought Maguire had been lying to her, after his evidence to Icac on 13 July 2018. Remember that, before that hearing, Maguire had assured the premier he had done nothing wrong.


I kept racking my brain, firstly to what extent he had been truthful and secondly to what extent the investigation was going to reveal anything further about his activities.

She says she was “overwhelmed with the shock and grief of what had transpired in the hearing, because he had assured me there was nothing to worry about and that he had done nothing wrong”:

I questioned everything. I questioned anything that I might have known... I can’t express how much of a shock it was to the system.


Berejiklian is now asked about her reaction to Maguire’s evidence at Icac on 13 July 2018. That evidence showed Maguire was involved in a “money-making exercise” involving a member of Canterbury city council and property developers.

She is asked whether the evidence “upset and shocked” her.

Berejiklian said it did.

Robertson suggests it became clear from that hearing that Maguire had been closely associating with people engaged in wrongdoing.

Berejiklian agrees:

Yes, that was my concern.

She said she was concerned that Maguire was in their “orbit” but said she didn’t know how closely they were involved:

I was very concerned as to what might be occurring. I wasn’t sure and I was extremely concerned.

Did Berejiklian think Maguire had been lying to her?

She responds that she thought something was “awry” but wasn’t sure what had transpired. At the very least, she realised he was “under a cloud”:

I was shocked at what had transpired and I had assumed he was caught up in something but I wasn’t sure of the extent of it. From a public perspective, clearly there were questions to be answered.


Berejiklian is saying that she suspects Maguire was simply complaining about the presentation of the budget, and the lack of a separate line item for Wagga Wagga hospital, rather than the lack of actual money.

That was normal, she said, because MPs want to be able to demonstrate to their constituents that they’re being represented.

We’re hearing new evidence about the $170m that Maguire sought for Wagga Wagga hospital in 2018.

You might recall that, in an intercepted call from May 2018, Maguire had complained to Berejiklian of the lack of funding for the hospital and Berejiklian had called treasurer Dominic Perrottet to “fix it”.

The commission now hears that the funding had already “been in play” and that a decision was made to fund it a year in advance to that phone call.

It hears the funding was already a line item in the preceding budget papers, well before the conversation with Maguire. It didn’t appear as a line item in the looming budget that Maguire was complaining about.

Berejiklian says:

The money was already allocated in the budget. But members of parliament like to see it as a separate line item ... the money was already there, it’s how it was presented.

She says there is “absolutely nothing unusual” about that.

As to the dollars, they were already in the budget. Nobody on this planet could get that amount of money ... I would never have been able to pluck that amount of money out in five minutes. That’s just absurd. Absolutely absurd.


A very interesting exchange:

Berejiklian suggests that she’s had to listen to the entirety of the 52-minute phone call between her and Maguire, in which he discusses a looming Icac appearance.

Robertson corrects her, says they’ve only heard “excerpts”, and then kindly offers to play the whole thing.

Berejiklian responds:

No, I think we heard enough, thanks Mr Robertson.

McColl offers Berejiklian some water. The former premier declines.


'I got more info and data than them': Maguire to Berejiklian

She’s taken to another message from Maguire, which says:

Means I got more info and data than them [beaming face with smiling eyes emoji].

Robertson asks whether that means Maguire has more information than “big brother” or whatever investigative agency they had been discussing.

No, that’s certainly not my recollection.

Ruth McColl asks whether it struck her as “curious” that, despite Maguire’s insistence he didn’t do anything wrong, he still wanted her to get a private phone.

Why did he now want to switch phones presumably for some added protections...?

Berejiklian assumed he was doing it for privacy reasons.

I can’t speculate as to what was going through his head.


I’m just asking if you ever put two and two together?




Wasn’t she concerned at Maguire’s suggestion that she get a private phone?

No not really, that’s a privacy issue. It’s not just him that’s suggested that to me.

She’s taken to a further message, in which Berejiklian responded to Maguire asking whether “everything was OK?”.

Wasn’t she concerned?


I can’t remember what I thought at the time.

Doesn’t that message show you are concerned at the suggestion that you needed to get a phone?


If I was so concerned, I would have done it.

'You need to get a private phone': Maguire to Berejiklian

Icac is discussing texts in which Daryl Maguire tells Gladys Berejiklian to download WeChat, the messaging service, which is encrypted.

In one message, Maguire tells her:

You need to get a private phone.

Scott Robertson asks if Berejiklian has any recollection of that.

She says she doesn’t and didn’t get a private phone:

He may well have said it to me, but other colleagues did as well because I was someone who never had a separate phone.


Robertson asks whether between her call with Maguire on 5 July 2018 (about his looming Icac appearance) and his evidence of 13 July 2018, she asked her chief of staff Sarah Cruickshank for any advice on what to do.

Berejiklian said she did not.

She’s taken to a comment on that call, where she asked Maguire whether recordings of their conversations were “going to be a problem?”.


Did you ultimately reflect whether ‘big brother’ or some investigative agency was listening to your calls with Mr Maguire?


Not really.

She said she hadn’t done anything wrong and so didn’t have anything to worry about. Maguire had assured her that he hadn’t either, and she believed him:

I was very confident that he didn’t do anything wrong. And I was certainly confident that I hadn’t done anything wrong.


Berejiklian says she “unequivocally” can say that she didn’t think Maguire was engaged in wrongdoing:

I did not assume any wrongdoing and I assumed that where he had any private interests of any description that they would be disclosed in the appropriate way.

She adds:

Certainly my radar didn’t go off, I wasn’t concerned.

Robertson mentions that she had a 52-minute phone call with Maguire about his looming appearance at Icac and asks:

Why isn’t your radar coming up in relation to this issue?

Berejiklian again says she trusted Maguire and had known him for a long time:

I did not assume anything was wrong because I had pressed him a number of times. This is someone I trusted. Someone my colleagues trusted.


Scott Robertson asks:

Do you accept at 5 July 2018, you had been told by Mr Maguire that he had been introducing properties to developers, do you agree?

Gladys Berejiklian:

No I can’t confirm that I knew that.

Robertson brings up another transcript of an intercepted call, in which Maguire discusses “providing a whole list of properties” to Chinese property developer Country Garden.


I don’t think I would have absorbed that, but obviously this is black and white in terms of what he told me.

Robertson suggests Berejiklian also knew Maguire may be receiving payments for the work.

Berejiklian asks to be reminded of where that evidence has come from.

She’s taken to another transcript.


Scott Robertson is going through a list of instances in which Gladys Berejiklian might have had cause for suspicion of wrongdoing by Daryl Maguire.

He suggests to Berejiklian that she was aware that Maguire was trying to influence a planning decision on behalf of Louise Waterhouse, the racing heiress.

Berejiklian responds:

I don’t even know if I was listening to the conversation properly.

He also suggests she knew Maguire was threatening to “go feral” during an important trade mission to China. The commission has previously heard Maguire was seeking an intervention to save a business of his associates:

I wouldn’t have thought anything about that. In fact, on that occasion I referred him to my office. If I thought he was engaged in wrongdoing, why would I refer to him to my office?

Robertson says to Berejiklian that she was aware that Maguire was seeking to represent property developers and obtain favourable planning decisions.

Berejiklian says she wasn’t aware of the extent of Maguire’s activities. She’s taken to a transcript of a phone intercept from July 2018, in which Maguire tells Berejiklian about making representations on behalf of one or more property developers.

Berejiklian said she didn’t know who Maguire was talking about or that he was a property developer:

I didn’t know the person, I didn’t know what was going on. So if you’re asking me if I actually knew what was going on, the answer is no.

Robertson presses Berejiklian, who eventually says:

In this instance, he’s told me, but I don’t know what he means.


Gladys Berejiklian is taken to an earlier phone intercept of a conversation between her and Daryl Maguire, during which the former Wagga Wagga MP describes his efforts to help Louise Waterhouse with the construction of a road near her land near the site of the western Sydney airport, which would fundamentally alter its value.

In that call, Maguire said:

Then ah, then I had coffee with Louise Waterhouse ... she’s got a big problem so I took her up to your office and said, ‘Can you help solve it?’ She’s got a lot of property out at Badgerys Creek.

Berejiklian continues to insist she had no suspicion Maguire might be engaging in wrongdoing.

She is redirected to the question by Ruth McColl:

Ms Berejiklian it would be better if you ... answered the question, rather than looking around corners.


The questions quickly go back to that wiretap capturing Maguire telling Berejiklian he had been summoned to appear before Icac.

Robertson asks whether Berejiklian reflected on the potential Maguire had been engaged in wrongdoing:

I took him at his word.

He asks whether Berejiklian suspected Maguire might make a $1.5m commission from a Badgerys Creek land deal, due to what he told her in an earlier phone call.

She replies:

The conversation is what it was, but I certainly did not assume or presume ... I don’t even think I was paying attention.


The hearing begins

And we’re off. Gladys Berejiklian is reminded of her oath.

And the questions from counsel assisting Scott Robertson begin.

Scott Robertson arrives this morning
Scott Robertson arrives this morning. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP


The dynamic between Berejiklian and commissioner Ruth McColl was interesting to observe on Friday.

McColl repeatedly reminded Berejiklian not to “make speeches” during her answers. McColl grew frustrated by the former premier’s answers veering away from Robertson’s questioning.

In another exchange, Berejiklian told the commission that the “threshold question” for whether she should have disclosed was whether she felt the relationship was significant enough.

McColl quickly rebuffed her:

I think we’ll decide the threshold questions, Ms Berejiklian.

During parts of the questioning, Berejiklian’s memory faltered, particularly on the critical issue of the two grants – $5.5m given to the Australian Clay Target Association’s clubhouse and convention centre in 2017, and $30m for the Riverina Conservatorium of Music in 2018.

The former premier was unable to answer clearly what her role was in approving either grant. She sat on a cabinet subcommittee that considered the proposals and did not disclose her relationship to Maguire, who had been advocating for them.

Gladys Berejiklian outside the hearing this morning
Gladys Berejiklian outside the hearing this morning. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images


Much of the questioning early on Friday concentrated on the nature and closeness of the relationship between Maguire and Berejiklian.

This may have seemed intensely personal to some, but the commission is forced to explore the issue because Berejiklian has claimed she never disclosed the relationship as a potential conflict because it wasn’t of “sufficient status” or importance.

The commission was shown a text message on Friday in which Berejiklian described Maguire as being like “family”.

The former premier sought then to distinguish her relationship with Maguire from the relationships with her mother and sisters. She denied Maguire was like family, saying it was a “turn of phrase”. Instead, she said, he was part of her “love circle”.

Scott Robertson, the counsel assisting Icac, replied:

“So when you say ‘you’re my family’ you didn’t mean ‘you’re my family’?”

Expect more questions on this issue today.


Gladys Berejiklian pulls up at Icac this morning
Gladys Berejiklian pulls up at Icac this morning. Photograph: Dean Lewins/AAP

So what did we hear on Friday?

Well, as it so often does, Icac played damning wiretaps of phone calls – in this case between Gladys Berejiklian and her then lover Daryl Maguire.

In one, Maguire complained of the lack of money for his electorate in the looming 2018 budget, particularly the absence of a $170m commitment he wanted for the Wagga Wagga hospital.

Berejiklian told him she would “fix it” and called the then treasurer Dominic Perrottet. Within five minutes, she said, she’d secured Maguire the $170m.

She is recorded saying:

I said, ‘Just put the $140m in the budget.’ He goes, ‘No worries.’ He does what I ask him to.

Maguire responds simply:

It is supposed to be $170m.

In another call, perhaps the most shocking, Maguire complains of being subpoenaed by the commission to give evidence about his involvement with the Chinese property giant Country Garden and its dealings in Sydney’s inner west.

Berejiklian asks repeated questions about what Icac is pursuing and what he will say to them. Maguire uses the call to rail against the commission, likening it to the “Spanish fucking inquisition”, and lament the transparency and anti-corruption oversight MPs face:

Nobody can have a conversation, nobody can make representations. What’s happening is that MPs and others are being muted by the fact that you have all this overseeing … in a way that paints you as fucking corrupt if you have a conversation.

At one point, he suggests Icac might even be recording their phone call. Berejiklian responds: “Is that going to be a problem?” She also describes Maguire’s associates as “dodgy”, prompting the former Wagga Wagga MP to reply:

Everyone’s dodgy. Gladys, that means you can’t mix with anybody.


Good morning

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the second day of Gladys Berejiklian’s evidence to the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

If Friday is anything to go by, we can safely expect more explosive evidence from the former premier about her dealings with her former partner, the ex-Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire.

The commission is exploring what Berejiklian might have suspected about Maguire’s alleged corrupt conduct and whether she gave him favourable treatment as premier, particularly over two grants he was seeking for projects in his electorate. Berejiklian has always denied she suspected Maguire of wrongdoing and said she did not regard the relationship as being of sufficient status to declare.

The hearings begin at 9am and will, as always, be livestreamed for the public.

Not long to go now until proceedings get under way.



Christopher Knaus and Michael McGowan

The GuardianTramp

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