Gladys Berejiklian has denied she stopped her ex-boyfriend telling her about his dodgy dealings because she wanted to avoid getting caught up in any wrongdoing.
In her fourth face-off with journalists this week, the 50-year-old NSW premier again refused to resign, saying ‘hand on heart I have done nothing wrong’ as her ex Daryl Maguire, 61, faces a corruption inquiry.
On Monday the inquiry heard a tapped phone call in which Maguire told Ms Berejiklian about a property deal he hoped to gain from before she replied: ‘I don’t need to know about that bit’.
Gladys Berejiklian (pictured today) has rejected claims she suspected her ex-boyfriend’s dodgy dealings but did not ask him about them
Sky News journalist Andrew Clennell on Friday suggested to the premier that she suspected Maguire was up to something but kept herself in the dark deliberately.
‘You are actively limiting the amount of information you knew,’ he said.
The premier rejected that allegation, saying: ‘I have made that clear, absolutely not.’
On Monday she claimed she had said ‘I don’t need to know about that bit’ simply because she was not interested in Maguire’s finances.
Ms Berejiklian asked Maguire to resign as MP for Wagga Wagga in 2018 when another corruption inquiry heard he sought payment for brokering a property deal.
The premier called for his resignation after she attended a private hearing with corruption body ICAC as a witness.
Clennell pressed the premier further, saying: ‘These conversations on the tapes, and the fact you only ended the relationship with Daryl Maguire once you had been to a private hearing with ICAC, indicates you are a leader that is not about right or wrong, but whether or not she will be caught.’
The premier replied: ‘I’m sorry, but I strongly refute that.’
Secret romance: Premier Gladys Berejiklian and former MP Daryl Maguire (pictured together) dated for five years from 2015 to 2020
Labor has accused Ms Berejikilian of turning a blind eye to corruption but she has insisted she was not aware of any wrongdoing.
Clennell said: ‘So we’re just supposed to believe you?’ and the premier replied: ‘Well, I’ve done nothing wrong.’
The premier said she ‘absolutely’ expects to be Liberal Party leader at the next state election in March 2023.
Asked what the test is for her to resign, she said: ‘When I’ve done something wrong.’
At the inquiry this week, Maguire admitted to running a cash-for-visa scheme from his office, ‘monetising’ his parliamentary position and secretly directing the company G8wayinternational from his office which ‘ultimately’ sought to sell access to the highest levels of government.
On Monday the nation was shocked when Ms Berejiklian admitted to a secret five-year relationship with Maguire – which he said was ‘on again, off again’, and ended a month or two ago.
Daryl Maguire (pictured) admitted he had an ‘on again, off again’ romance with the premier
The inquiry heard phone calls in which Maguire called her ‘babe’ and she called him her ‘numero uno’ – Spanish for number one.
‘I stuffed up in my personal life,’ the premier said.
On Friday Maguire admitted he tried to ‘shield’ Ms Berejiklian from information that could ’cause her difficulties’.
The line of questioning related to how he hoped to make $1.5million from a land deal at Badgerys Creek, which could help pay off debts incurred by divorcing his ex-wife Maureen. He had raised a planning issue about the deal with the Premier.
The ICAC listened to a call with Berejiklian in which Maguire told her ‘the good news is William tells me we’ve done our deal.
‘So hopefully that’s about half of all that that’s gone now.’
Berejiklian replied: ‘That’s good. I don’t need to know about that bit’.
Maguire admitted he was ‘at least concerned’ questions might be raised at that point about the propriety of his involvement in a Badgerys Creek land sale.
Counsel assisting ICAC Scott Robertson Robertson asked: ‘Do you agree… that at least in part you sought to shield some information from Ms Berejiklian?
‘Yes,’ he said.
Maguire said he shared in general terms what he was up to and doing.
Mr Robertson said: ‘She was to some extent a sounding board to discuss the things you were involved in general terms at least?’
Maguire replied: ‘Yes.’
Robertson then asked: ‘Was it also the case as you understood it from either this call or other communication with Ms Berejiklian there was particular bits of information that she didn’t want to know about your activities?’
Maguire said: ‘Well, yes’.
Later Mr Robertson said: ‘There was a point you stopped giving the details because you were concerned that might cause her to have to take steps in relation to that matter?’
Maguire responded: ‘Well, I thought it would cause her difficulties. So, I limited the information that I gave her, yes.’
From a $330million property deal to making bags of cash from a visa scheme: Inside the dodgy dealings of Gladys Berejiklian’s secret lover Daryl Maguire as he faces corruption inquiry
Gladys Berejiklian’s secret lover Daryl Maguire has admitted using his role as an MP to make money for himself including by accepting cash to help Chinese nationals get visas.
A corruption inquiry heard Mr Maguire tried to broker property sales for cash payments and told the premier about some of the deals including a $5.8million motel and a $330million estate in western Sydney.
Ms Berejiklian, who manged to keep their five-year relationship secret until Monday, has denied doing anything wrong and insisted that she was not aware of any misconduct.
On Wednesday Mr Maguire, who resigned from the state parliament in 2018, faces an ICAC corruption inquiry which has the power to recommend criminal charges.
Here, Daily Mail Australia takes a look at his business ventures that the inquiry has mentioned, some of which clearly came to the attention of Ms Berejiklian.
The motel, 2014
In a text message from 2014, before Ms Berejiklian became premier, Mr Maguire told her that he had brokered the sale of a motel for $5.8million and that he would get a $5,000 fee.
‘Hawkiss good news. One of my contacts sold a motel for 5.8 million I had put her in contact so I should make 5k,’ he wrote.
In a text message from 2014, before Ms Berejiklian became premier, Mr Maguire told her that he had brokered the sale of a motel for $5.8million and that he would get a $5,000 fee
Hawkiss, or hokis, is an Armenian term of affection meaning ‘my soul’ or ‘my beloved’.
Ms Berejiklian replied, saying: ‘Congrats!!! Great news!!! Woohoo’.
At the inquiry on Monday the premier admitted that Mr Maguire was telling her ‘about particular commissions’.
She said she assumed he was disclosing his businesses interests as required.
Badgerys Creek, 2017
In one recorded conversation Mr Maguire told Ms Berejiklian he had done a property deal at Badgerys Creek in western Sydney that would help pay off large debts incurred by divorcing his ex-wife Maureen.
‘We’ve done our deal so hopefully that’s about half of all that gone now,’ he said before the premier replied: ‘I don’t need to know about that bit.’
He is believed to be referring to a deal that would see a sprawling property owned by the Waterhouse racing family sold to Chinese buyers for around $330million.
Daryl Maguire is pictured with Louise Waterhouse
The potential buyer was concerned about road and zoning issues and Mr Maguire had allegedly agreed to ‘grease the wheels’ by speaking to authorities, the inquiry heard earlier this month.
In one phone call in November 2017, he told Louise Waterhouse’s property agent: ‘I’ve introduced Louise to people to fix the road… I’ll talk to you about it offline.’
The deal was expected to make Mr Maguire up to $1million but it fell through.
On Wednesday Mr Maguire admitted that he ‘partly’ turned his Macquarie St office over to the firm G8way International.
The company is described as an intermediary between China and Australia which ultimately sold access ‘to the highest levels of government’.
Mr Maguire told the inquiry he secretly acted as a director of the business which had interests in milk powder, a coal mine, a gold mine, cotton, wine, steel and a showroom in Shenzhen, China.
Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) has denied having any knowledge about a so-called ‘cash for visa’ scam
He admitted receiving as many as 20 deliveries of thousands of dollars of cash at his parliamentary office for a scheme that helped Chinese nationals get Australian visas.
He also admitted keeping the money ‘off the books’ so he wouldn’t have to disclose it to Parliament.
The ICAC inquiry previously heard that Mr Maguire introduced two Australian businessmen to the scheme that saw them get paid to employ Chinese nationals on a rural regional business visa without them having to turn up for work.
Mr Maguire said he suspected the scheme was not legitimate but continued because he was making money from it.
Asked if she was aware of G8way’s interest in migration, Ms Berejiklian replied: ‘Absolutely not. And I’m shocked and disturbed, can I say, by what’s been revealed.’
Proposed trip to China, 2017
In September 2017, Mr Maguire threatened to fly to China at the same time as an official trade mission to spruik a business deal involving a dairy in Leeton which was outside his electorate.
In an August 2017 letter marked ‘urgent’ and written on NSW parliamentary letterhead, Mr Maguire wrote to the chairman of the board of Chinese firm Bright Food over its interest in dairy facilities in Leeton.
Bright Food had delayed the sale of its controlling stake in a joint venture with local firm UWE.
Berejiklian and Maguire are seen meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping in November 2014
Mr Maguire said failure of the venture would raise ‘very serious questions by our government … about future joint ventures with Chinese companies’.
‘In order to avoid this potential embarrassment, I will fly to Shanghai to meet with you face to face in a genuine effort to resolve this pending crisis,’ he wrote.
Ms Berejiklian’s chief of staff had to effectively order Mr Maguire to ‘cease and desist’, the inquiry heard.
Sarah Cruikshank initially thought it was ‘ridiculous’ that Mr Maguire would head to Shanghai over a business deal involving a southern NSW dairy, she told the inquiry.
She recalled quickly moving to stop the trip but said she was unaware Mr Maguire harboured a desire to join the board of one of the dairy’s owners, UWE.
Had she known that information, she’d have reported the then-Wagga Wagga MP to the anti-corruption commission immediately, she said.
‘I mean, it’s pretty serious,’ she said.
Visas for cash and using his role to make money: What did Daryl Maguire admit to?
* Between 2012 and 2018 Mr Maguire sought to use his public office with a view of making money for himself and his associates.
* He admits he should have updated the premier immediately about his conflicts of interest and knew he was obliged to not ‘knowingly conceal’ such matters from her.
* He admits using his parliamentary staff, email, office and printer to run networking business G8wayInternational
* Electoral staff in Wagga Wagga were also helped him pursue personal business interests.
* He was deliberately kept off G8way’s books but effectively help direct it, using it to make personal profits.
* More than once he received at his parliamentary office deliveries of thousands of dollars of cash associated with a visa scheme for Chinese nationals
* He became suspicious the visa scheme wasn’t legitimate but decided to proceed anyway because he was ‘making money’.
In a recorded phone call Ms Berejiklian can be heard telling Mr Maguire that Ms Cruickshank had concerns about his travel.
‘All right babe, what do you think?’ Mr Maguire asked.
‘I just got home, did Sarah ring you from my office?’ Ms Berejiklian replied.
‘No, why?’ he said.
Ms Berejiklian said: ‘She sent me a text, when she has to ring a member of parliament she lets me know.’
‘They seem to think it’s in your electorate. I didn’t say anything, It’s none of my business, I’m just letting you know.’
Meeting with Joseph Alha, November 2017
The inquiry heard Mr Maguire took property developer Joseph Alha to ‘bump into’ Ms Berejiklian in her office after having a drink with him beforehand.
Mr Alha allegedly wanted to drum up support for developments in southwest Sydney.
Under NSW laws, property developers cannot donate to political parties but can meet with politicians.
Asked if she remembered the meeting, Ms Berejiklian said: ‘I have no direct recollection but I may have very well met him at a party, forum or some such event.’
She said Mr Maguire did not introduce her to people any more than other MPs.
‘It was pretty much common, it would be consistent with every other member of parliament. It wasn’t more or less,’ she said.
Gladys Berejiklian and Daryl Maguire: A timeline
MARCH 2015: Ms Berejiklian and Mr Maguire begin a ‘close personal relationship’ around the time of the NSW election. Ms Berejiklian was the transport minister while Mr Maguire, a parliamentary secretary, was separated from his ex-wife.
APRIL 2, 2015: Ms Berejiklian appointed NSW treasurer after the coalition is re-elected.
JANUARY 23, 2017: Ms Berejiklian becomes NSW premier, replacing Mike Baird. Mr Maguire is retained as a parliamentary secretary in her government.
AUGUST 2017: Ms Berejiklian tells Mr Maguire she would like him to quit parliament at the 2019 election so the pair can go public with their relationship. Ms Berejiklian says Mr Maguire also wanted that.
SEPTEMBER 7, 2017: Ms Berejiklian is heard in a telephone intercept saying she ‘didn’t need to know about that bit’ as Mr Maguire discusses his financial interests at Badgerys Creek Airport, and a land deal which would net him a large windfall. A day earlier, Mr Maguire texted Ms Berejiklian that ‘we clinched the land deal’.
NOVEMBER 2017: Louise Waterhouse, a western Sydney landowner, twice emailed Ms Berejiklian after being given her private address by Mr Maguire. She requested help with rezoning changes around Badgerys Creek Airport that would benefit a parcel of her land. Ms Berejiklian did not respond.
JULY 13, 2018: Mr Maguire appears before ICAC, with evidence heard that he sought payments to help broker deals for property developers.
AUGUST 3, 2018: Mr Maguire resigns from the Berejiklian government at the behest of Ms Berejiklian and other frontbenchers, with Ms Berejiklian saying she is ‘pleased’ and ‘relieved’ but privately she remains in contact with Mr Maguire.
MARCH 23, 2019: The coalition retains government in the 2019 NSW election.
SEPTEMBER 13, 2020: Ms Berejiklian cuts off all contact with Mr Maguire and agrees to support an ICAC inquiry into his business interests.
OCTOBER 12, 2020: Ms Berejiklian’s relationship with Mr Maguire is revealed at ICAC.