Gladys Berejiklian warned her concealed fellow Daryl Maguire she believed immoderate of his associates were “dodgy”, but denied suspecting him of corrupt behaviour due to the fact that helium had “assured maine that helium had done thing wrong”, a corruption enquiry has heard.
Berejiklian’s quality astatine the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption connected Friday produced a bid of bombshell revelations.
On the archetypal of 2 days earlier the committee it was revealed she told her erstwhile fellow Maguire she had injected much than $100m successful backing into the NSW fund aft helium complained astir a deficiency of infirmary backing successful his electorate of Wagga Wagga, agreed not to sack a nationalist servant until aft a task the MP had lobbied for was completed, and said she did not request to state the narration to ministerial colleagues contempt describing him arsenic “family” successful a substance message.
But it was a tapped telephone telephone from the time Maguire archetypal received a summons to look earlier the Icac successful July 2018 that went to the bosom of the watchdog’s probe into the erstwhile premier’s conduct.
The Icac is investigating whether Berejiklian breached her ineligible duties by failing to study behaviour by Maguire she had crushed to fishy connected “reasonable grounds” whitethorn person been corrupt conduct. The erstwhile premier has repeatedly denied immoderate wrongdoing, including successful her quality connected Friday.
The call, from 5 July 2018, revealed that Berejiklian questioned Maguire successful item astir his summons earlier the Icac’s abstracted Operation Dasha inquiry. The enquiry yet forced the MPs resignation aft it was revealed helium had discussed the anticipation of earning commissions connected the merchantability of improvement sites which helium wanted to assistance broker. ICAC made nary corruption findings successful narration to Maguire but recommended helium look charges for allegedly giving mendacious evidence.
During the call, Maguire explained to Berejiklian that helium had been called to look arsenic a witnesser due to the fact that of an instauration helium had made for the Chinese spot developer, Country Garden. While helium insisted that helium had done thing wrong, helium besides told the then-premier that helium could beryllium implicated successful the investigation.
After archetypal telling Maguire “I don’t privation to cognize immoderate of that stuff”, Berejiklian asked a bid of questions astir his engagement successful the investigation, and told Maguire that she believed the developers progressive successful the enquiry were “dodgy”.
During the call, successful which Maguire railed against the watchdog, calling it “worse than the Spanish fucking inquisition”, helium besides told Berejiklian: “They could beryllium taping your speech with maine close now, you wouldn’t know”.
She replied: “Is that going to beryllium a problem?”.
But nether questioning from counsel assisting the commission, Scott Robertson, the erstwhile premier insisted she did not fishy Maguire of immoderate corrupt behaviour because, she told the inquiry, she “trusted” the MP.
“He told maine he’d done thing incorrect and I believed him,” she said.
“If I had done, I would person reported it.”
The telephone was 1 of a bid of explosive telephone and substance exchanges betwixt Maguire and Berejiklian revealed during Friday’s evidence.
In speech from May 2018, Berejiklian told Maguire she would “fix it” aft helium complained astir a deficiency of infirmary backing successful his electorate of Wagga Wagga, past 2 hours aboriginal told him she had instructed the treasurer to enactment much than $100m successful the budget.
In a connection sent astir 11am connected 16 May 2018, Maguire complained that unit successful the bureau of the then-treasurer, Dominic Perrottet, had told him determination was “no money for signifier 3 Wagga hospital” which, helium said, “needs $170m”.
Later that day, astir 4.30pm, Maguire again complained astir the deficiency of backing successful a tapped telephone conversation.
“I said, ‘You amended fucking marque definite Wagga’s got wealth different there’s gonna beryllium a riot connected your hands,’” Maguire says successful the call.
Berejiklian responded: “I’ll woody with it. I’ll hole it.”
On a 2nd call, astir 2 hours later, Berejiklian told Maguire: “I conscionable spoke to Dom and I said enactment the 140 [million] successful the budget. He goes nary worries. He conscionable does what I inquire I inquire him to.”
When Maguire again complained that helium wanted $170m for Wagga hospital, she said: “Whatever it is, 170 I said ... I deliberation it’s astir 140, I said conscionable enactment it in. He’s putting it successful immoderate it is, OK.”
Counsel assisting Scott Robertson told Icac that Perrottet, present the NSW premier, is not accused of immoderate wrongdoing successful the investigation.
The taped telephone was played aft Robertson had grilled Berejiklian connected whether Maguire enjoyed preferable attraction oregon accrued entree to her, arsenic premier, due to the fact that of their relationship.
After the speech was played, Robertson said: “If it was idiosyncratic other raising these kinds of concerns you wouldn’t person taken those steps.”
Berejiklian denied that, saying she would person dealt with immoderate “irate” workfellow successful the aforesaid way, and she could not callback taking immoderate actions aft the 2018 call.
At the centre of the Icac’s probe are 2 grants fixed to organisations successful the spot of Wagga Wagga betwixt 2017 and 2018. On Friday the enquiry heard tapped telephone conversations successful which some projects were discussed, including a $30m assistance for the Riverina Conservatorium of Music.
In 1 call, from November 2017, Berejiklian agreed that she would not sack a nationalist servant who she “can’t stand” aft Maguire told her not to.
“His caput volition beryllium gone soon,” Berejiklian said connected the call.
“Not until helium fixes my conservatorium … He’s the lone 1 that’s travel to bash it,” the Wagga Wagga MP replied.
“Alright bully archer him to hole it and past aft helium fixes it I’m sacking him,” she said.
Berejiklian said the Conservatorium task whitethorn person been “one of the reasons” she delayed successful sacking the person, but said she ne'er did yet sack them and they inactive enactment for the nationalist service.
During the examination, Berejiklian was grilled connected wherefore she did not state the narration to her ministerial colleagues, and insisted that adjacent with hindsight she would not person disclosed it due to the fact that it was “not of capable standing”.
Robertson pressed the erstwhile premier connected wherefore she did not consciousness the request to disclose it during decisions astir projects Maguire had lobbied for, including the $30m grant, contempt having antecedently declared instances wherever she had met radical astatine functions oregon the information that 2 cousins worked for a authorities department.
In my view, [the assistance decision] had thing to bash with my idiosyncratic beingness due to the fact that it was connected the merits of providing thing affirmative to the community,” she said.
Robertson showed Berejiklian a substance connection she sent to Maguire connected the aforesaid time she was progressive successful a determination made by the government’s almighty expenditure reappraisal committee to springiness an archetypal $10m to the conservatorium successful which she told him that helium was “family”.
“How tin you perchance accidental that the narration was not of capable presumption to see making a disclosure ... erstwhile connected the precise aforesaid time you’re telling Mr Maguire that he’s your family?” helium asked.
Berejiklian told him it was a “turn of phrase” and was not meant to beryllium taken literally.
“So erstwhile you accidental ‘you’re my family’ you didn’t mean ‘you’re my family’,” Robertson asked.
“I did not respect it arsenic literal,” she replied.
“I regarded him arsenic portion of my emotion ellipse - portion of the radical that I powerfully cared for - but I wouldn’t person enactment him successful the aforesaid class arsenic my parents oregon my sisters.”
Despite a bid of nationalist servants and erstwhile ministerial colleagues telling Icac they would person acted otherwise had they known astir the relationship, Berejiklian said she did not deliberation the narration had a capable level of “commitment” to declare.
“They weren’t successful it, truthful they wouldn’t person known my authorities of mind,” she said successful Sydney.
Berejiklian has denied each wrongdoing and said past volition amusement she acted successful the champion interests of the radical of NSW.