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The road to resignation: How Gladys Berejiklian came to this point

Published: in Australian News by .

The resignation of New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian from Parliament today may have come as a shock – but it’s just the latest headline moment in a long-running political corruption investigation that has spanned more than a year.

The resignation of New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian from Parliament today may have come as a shock - but it's just the latest headline moment in a long-running political corruption investigation that has spanned more than a year.

Ms Berejiklian is facing an ICAC investigation into whether she breached public trust.

It is set to start on October 18 and proceed for the next 10 days.

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In a statement released today, ICAC said: "The Commission is investigating whether, between 2012 and 2018, the Hon Gladys Berejiklian MP engaged in conduct that...constituted or involved a breach of public trust by exercising public functions in circumstances where she was in a position of conflict between her public duties and her private interest as a person who was in a personal relationship with the then NSW Member of Parliament, Mr Daryl Maguire."

ICAC will investigate any "position of conflict" between her professional role and her private relationship with Mr Maguire, then a member of state parliament.

ICAC will investigate whether her private relationship led to grant funding going to the Australian Clay Target Association in 2016 and 2017, and the Riverina Conservatorium of Music in 2018.

https://omny.fm/shows/the-9news-lunch-podcast/oct-1-gladys-gone-nsw-premier-makes-shock-announce/embed?style=coverdaryl maguire will continue as an independent.

Both organisations are based in Wagga Wagga, the city in country NSW represented at the time by Mr Maguire.

ICAC will also investigate whether Ms Berejiklian "was liable to allow or encourage the occurrence of corrupt conduct by Mr Maguire".

Mr Maguire himself will be investigated for conduct that involved a breach of public trust.

What's come before

Mr Maguire had previously admitted to using his position as an MP for personal gain.

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During an ICAC investigation in October last year, Mr Maguire told ICAC that he "agreed" he had breached the public trust.

He also admitted to telling his staff to "wipe everything" when he resigned from his position as the Liberal member for Wagga Wagga in 2018.

READ MORE: Gladys Berejiklian's full resignation statement

He made the admission he asked his employees to wipe three computers – one in Canberra and two in Sydney – when he left parliament following a separate ICAC investigation.

"When it became evident that I could no longer retain the position of member for Wagga Wagga, that I would have to resign, yes, I'd told them to wipe everything," he told ICAC.

When asked whether this was to keep the information away from corruption inquiries, Mr Maguire agreed and said, "partly, yes".

Mr Maguire and Ms Berejiklian were in a "secret relationship" from 2015 until last year.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and former MP Daryl Maguire.

Ms Berejiklian herself was called before ICAC - though she was not herself then under investigation.

She has consistently maintained she had done Mr Maguire "no favours" as premier.

It emerged at last year's inquiry that during a phone call between the two, Mr Maguire had referred to the possibility of making money off a land sale at Badgerys Creek in western Sydney.

"I don't need to know that," Ms Berejiklian said.

Ms Berejiklian later told 2GB's Ben Fordham she had likely not been listening during the call.

Full statement from NSW ICAC

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) will hold a further public inquiry in Operation Keppel from 10:00 am on Monday 18 October 2021.

The Commission is investigating whether, between 2012 and 2018, the Hon Gladys Berejiklian MP engaged in conduct that:

The Commission is also investigating whether, between 2012 and August 2018, Mr Maguire engaged in conduct that involved a breach of public trust by using his public office, involving his duties as a member of the NSW Parliament, and the use of parliamentary resources, to improperly gain a benefit for himself, G8wayInternational/G8wayInternational Pty Ltd and associated persons.

The general scope and purpose of the public inquiry is to gather evidence relevant to the matters being investigated for the purpose of determining the matters referred to in section 13(2) of the ICAC Act.

The Commission has decided that public inquiries will be conducted, as far as practicable, remotely via audio visual link (AVL) until there is a change in the current COVID-19 public health orders. Only those whose presence on Commission premises is deemed essential for the effective conduct of the public inquiry will be permitted on-site. Members of the public and the media will therefore not be permitted to attend the premises for the course of the Operation Keppel public inquiry. There is further information in the public inquiry protocol on the Commission's website.

MS Teams is the AVL technology that the Commission will use to conduct the public inquiry remotely. The Commission will live stream the MS Teams proceedings via its website, www.icac.nsw.gov.au. The Commission will also upload exhibits (provided they are not subject to non-publication orders), transcripts and witness lists to the website. Updates will be provided throughout the course of the inquiry via the ICAC Twitter account (@nswicac).

Assistant Commissioner the Hon Ruth McColl AO SC will preside at the public inquiry. Counsel Assisting the Commission will be Mr Scott Robertson and Mr Alex Brown.

It is expected that the inquiry will continue for approximately 10 days. A witness list for the first week of the public inquiry will be published closer to the commencement date of the proceedings, along with further information about how to access the live stream. The Commission will also advise if there are changes to the public health orders that may affect the conduct of the inquiry.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/gladys-berejiklian-resignation-icac-investigation-what-it-means-how-it-happened/3bb74231-506b-4dec-b575-b69c4205abf0

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