Daryl Maguire reveals to NSW ICAC he took a property developer into Gladys Berejiklian's office

Daryl Maguire brought a property developer into the office of his then-secret lover, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, but insists planning wasn't discussed.

Former Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire giving evidence during the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption on 14 October.

Former Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire giving evidence during the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption on 14 October. Source: ICAC

Disgraced former NSW MP Daryl Maguire took a property developer into Premier Gladys Berejiklian's office for an unscheduled visit but insists only "general niceties" were exchanged.

The 61-year-old who was in a secret five-year "close personal relationship" with Ms Berejiklian faced a second day of questioning at the Independent Commission Against Corruption over the use of his public office for personal profit.

He was asked about an invitation he extended to his close friend and property developer Joe Alha to share a red wine in his parliamentary office in November 2017.

Told "you'll never know who'll drop in", Mr Alha arrived with models of his proposed development and ended up meeting with a ministerial staffer.

Mr Maguire informed NSW Premier he'd financially benefit from Badgerys Creek

"As the evening wore on, he became, 'Let's go and see Glad'," Mr Maguire told the ICAC on Thursday.

The pair made their way to the premier's office and were let inside.

"We stood, said, 'Hello'. Look, it would have been less than two minutes," he said.

"That's my best recollection and it was just general niceties, Commissioner (Ruth McColl).

"You know, greetings and that's it."

He said he couldn't recall another time in which he took a developer into the premier's office.

Mr Maguire's 19-year stint as MP for Wagga Wagga ended in disgrace in 2018 when his close relationship with Mr Alha and other Sydney developer were exposed and intercepted phone calls appeared to show the MP soliciting kickbacks.

Gladys Berejiklian (c) and Daryl Maguire (r) in 2015.
Source: Barry O'Farrell/Twitter

The inquiry on Thursday was told if Mr Alha wanted the help of a minister, ministerial staffer or a public servant, his first port of call was Mr Maguire.

Mr Maguire would then closely advise how best to contact ministers.

"And you cc the premier, you send it to the premier, okay," the Wagga Wagga MP said in a February 2018 phone call played at the commission.

When Mr Alha questioned how he would get Ms Berejiklian's email address, Mr Maguire said he would "fix it".

But Mr Maguire said to his knowledge none of the approaches he made on behalf of developers led to any change, either on policy or decisions on specific cases.

Mr Maguire initially suggested his service wasn't a shortcut as anyone could write to a minister and state their case.

Daryl Maguire explains 'drop in' visit to NSW Premier with developer

But after further questioning he conceded he was lending the weight of his office to any potential request.

Since giving evidence to the commission on Monday, Ms Berejiklian mounted an impassioned defence of her integrity, saying she never knew about any of Mr Maguire's shady dealings.

"Never, ever have I tolerated anybody else doing anything wrong. And if I ever saw it or witnessed it or knew about it, of course I would have taken action," she said on Wednesday.

Mr Maguire on Wednesday made multiple frank admissions including using his parliament house office to receive cash commissions from a "cash-for-visa scheme" he conceded was involved businesses being willing to lie to immigration officials.

He also confessed to secretly directed G8way International, a firm that earned commissions for linking Chinese buyers with Australian businesses.

Mr Maguire's evidence is expected to continue into Friday.


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Published 15 October 2020 at 12:32pm
Source: AAP - SBS

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