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‘We’re prostitutes’: Bizarre outburst to Gladys

    Gladys Berejiklian discussed a corruption investigation with her secret ex-lover in a tapped phone call, telling him “I don’t want to know any of that stuff”.

    The phone call revealed Daryl Maguire called Ms Berejiklian in July 2018 to tell her he had been summoned to testify before the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

    Ms Berejiklian could be heard expressing surprise that Mr Maguire had been subpoenaed, but when he went on to mention “skulduggery” she said she didn’t want to know about it.

    But she went on to ask a series of questions about the ICAC inquiries Mr Maguire was facing and urged him to listen to his lawyers’ advice.

    “I believed him when he said he’d done nothing wrong,” Ms Berejiklian told the commission after the recording was played.

    The 2018 subpoena was related to a separate ICAC investigation to the one that is currently ongoing. Mr Maguire has been accused of giving false evidence in the 2018 inquiry.

    Gladys Berejiklian gave evidence to the ICAC on Friday.

    Gladys Berejiklian gave evidence to the ICAC on Friday.

    One of the allegations being explored in the current investigation is whether Ms Berejiklian failed in her duty to report suspected corruption, and whether she encouraged Mr Maguire’s behaviour by turning a blind eye.

    Ms Berejiklian has denied wrongdoing. 

    At another point in the same conversation, Ms Berejiklian was heard telling Mr Maguire to “not get involved in anything you don’t need to”.

    When Mr Maguire responded by saying he’s a “helpful person”, Ms Berejiklian said: “People will use you.”

    “They might,” Mr Maguire replied.

    “Constituents use you every day. You bare your arse to the world every day. We’ve become prostitutes. We have become f–king harlots and prostitutes.”

    Mr Maguire appeared to be referring to politicians in general, rather than himself and Ms Berejiklian specifically.

    In the same conversation, Mr Maguire warned Ms Berejiklian his phone may be tapped.

    “It’s worse than the Spanish f—ing inquisition, you can’t even talk anymore. They could be taping your conversation right now and you wouldn’t know,“ he said.

    Earlier in the hearing, another phone call recording was played where Ms Berejiklian told Mr Maguire she would “sack” a public servant she didn’t like, but considered waiting until he could “fix” a problem Mr Maguire had.

    “I can’t stand that guy … his head will be gone soon,” Ms Berejiklian told Mr Maguire.

    The bureaucrat is still in the public service today, Ms Berejiklian said.

    Gladys Berejiklian and Daryl Maguire were in a secret relationship.

    Gladys Berejiklian and Daryl Maguire were in a secret relationship.

    In another tapped phone call between the pair, Ms Berejiklian was heard telling Mr Maguire on a tapped phone she could get him “$170 million in five minutes”.

    Ms Berejiklian could also be heard saying the then-treasurer, now NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet “just does what I ask him to do”, in the phone call played at the ICAC on Friday.

    Ms Berejiklian told the commission she would not disclose her former relationship with an MP colleague if she could have her time again.

    The former NSW premier is responding to an investigation by the Independent Commission Against Corruption into whether she breached the public’s trust in the course of her secret relationship with former Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire.

    She has previously denied wrongdoing and said she always acted with integrity. It was not suggested Mr Perrottet had acted improperly.

    The counsel assisting the ICAC, Scott Robertson, SC, asked Ms Berejiklian how come she wouldn’t disclose the relationship.

    “The threshold for me was, did I feel there was a commitment which I would be able to share with my parents or my sisters? And I didn’t feel that there was a sufficient significance in order to do that, in terms of commitment,” Ms Berejiklian said.

    Gladys Berejiklian took the witness stand shortly after 10am.

    Gladys Berejiklian took the witness stand shortly after 10am.

    She also said she agreed with Mr Maguire’s comments in regards to the “hallmarks” of the relationship, such as having been in love with each other.

    “I had those feelings but I was never assured of a level of commitment that in my mind would have required me to introduce him to my parents,” Ms Berejiklian said.

    Ms Berejiklian was shown a text message she sent to Mr Maguire in April, 2018 where she said: “You are my family.”

    However the former NSW premier said that while she had strong feelings for Mr Maguire, she did not consider him the same status as her immediate family.

    “I regarded him as part of my love circle … but I wouldn’t put him in the same category as my parents or my sisters.”

    Former NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian has denied wrongdoing. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw

    Former NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian has denied wrongdoing. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw

    Ms Berejiklian confirmed testimony by Mr Maguire that he had a key to her north Sydney house, but that she had since changed her locks.

    Ms Berejiklian took the witness box at the Independent Commission Against Corruption shortly after 10am on Friday.

    In the first 20 minutes of her testimony, she was told twice by the ICAC commissioner to refrain from “making speeches” and answer Mr Robertson’s questions directly.

    One of those comments by commissioner Ruth McColl came after Ms Berejiklian told the inquiry that she always acted with the public interest in mind.

    Mr Robertson asked Ms Berejiklian at one point if she had “some difficulty in understanding my questions” after she qualified her answer instead of answering yes or no.

    That comment came after a question about whether Mr Maguire had greater access to Ms Berejiklian compared to other backbenchers.

    Gladys Berejiklian and Daryl Maguire are both under investigation by the ICAC.

    Gladys Berejiklian and Daryl Maguire are both under investigation by the ICAC.

    “I would say that all of my colleagues had equal access in relation to matters regarding their electorate, no doubt about that,” Ms Berejiklian said.

    Her appearance at ICAC comes towards the end of an 11-day public inquiry.

    The ICAC is investigating allegations Ms Berejiklian had a conflict of interest when she advanced funding requests by her then-secret boyfriend without disclosing the relationship.

    It is also probing whether she failed to report allegedly corrupt conduct by Daryl Maguire, the former Wagga Wagga MP, and whether she encouraged that behaviour by turning a blind eye.

    In recordings of a May 2018 phone call played on Friday, Ms Berejiklian could be heard saying she had managed to “get” Mr Maguire money for a hospital in Wagga Wagga.

    Mr Maguire had told her two hours earlier that he needed the funds, prompting Ms Berejiklian to respond “I’ll fix it”, the ICAC heard.

    She later told him on a bugged call: “I’ve already gotten you the Wagga hospital.”

    Gladys Berejiklian has said she always acted with integrity. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw

    Gladys Berejiklian has said she always acted with integrity. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw

    “I just spoke to Dom, and I said just put the (money) in the budget. He goes, ‘No worries’. He just does what I ask him to do.”

    After listening to the recording, Ms Berejiklian said of herself and Mr Perrottet, “neither of us would have done anything which was not appropriate”.

    Mr Robertson told the ICAC commissioner there was no suggestion Mr Perrottet had acted improperly.

    “There’s no suggestion in any of the material before this commission, in this investigation of any improper conduct on the part of (Mr Perrottet), I just thought I should make that clear,” Mr Robertson said.

    The day before Ms Berejiklian’s appearance, the ICAC heard recordings of tapped phone calls in which Ms Berejiklian vowed to Mr Maguire she would “throw money” at Wagga Wagga.

    She was also heard in the phone call saying she could “overrule” any bureaucrats who may oppose the cash splash.

    The phone call happened in 2018, after Mr Maguire had been caught allegedly lying to the ICAC and sacked from the Liberal Party by Ms Berejiklian.

    The pair were heard discussing projects that should be funded during the by-election in order to retain the seat for the Liberal Party.

    Gladys Berejiklian has maintained she always acted with integrity. Picture: Sam Mooy/Getty Images

    Gladys Berejiklian has maintained she always acted with integrity. Picture: Sam Mooy/Getty Images

    Ms Berejiklian was also questioned about funding worth $5.5 million a Wagga Wagga gun club, a submission that the ICAC heard had failed to convince public servants it would bring a benefit to the state.

    Ms Berejiklian said she couldn’t recall taking an interest in the project after becoming premier in 2017.

    “I just don’t have a recollection of it,” Ms Berejiklian said of the proposal.

    However she did recall there concerns in late 2016, when the proposal came before a committee she chaired as treasurer, that regional voters would feel the Coalition government had “turned their back to the bush”.

    Those concerns were stoked by losing the seat of Orange to another party in a by-election, she said.

    “I distinctly recall the need to demonstrate to rural and regional communities that the NSW Coalition government had not abandoned them, in the face of a number of issues which they were concerned with,” Ms Berejiklian said.

    Senior public servants have told the ICAC they understood Ms Berejiklian to be interested in advancing the project, despite the fact the business case “didn’t stack up”.

    During his testimony on Thursday, Mr Maguire was asked a series of intimate questions about the relationship, which was conducted in secret from 2015 until the middle of 2020.

    He told the ICAC the pair had contemplated marriage and children, would stay together from time to time, and take holidays together.

    The counsel assisting the ICAC, Scott Robertson, indicated those questions were relevant to establishing the nature of the relationship and whether it was significant enough to warrant disclosure under rules for NSW ministers.

    Ms Berejiklian’s lawyer argued the questions should not be asked in public, but was overruled.

    The former premier’s testimony is expected to continue on Monday.

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