NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has survived no-confidence motions in both houses in a day filled with angry exchanges over her relationship with disgraced former MP Daryl Maguire.
- A no confidence motion against Gladys Berejiklian was defeated in both houses
- Ms Berejiklian continues to be scrutinised about whether she knew of disgraced MP Daryl Maguire’s wrongdoings
- Mr Maguire told an ICAC hearing on Wednesday he used his parliamentary office for business dealings
The motions were defeated 38 ayes to 47 noes in the Lower House, and 21 to 20 in the Upper House.
Wednesday saw the fieriest stoushes yet, coinciding with Mr Maguire facing an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) inquiry where he admitted using his parliamentary office for business deals.
Ms Berejiklian appeared increasingly impatient at a coronavirus press conference, which warned of a major COVID-19 spike alert for Sydney’s south-west but then turned into questioning over the Maguire storm.
At one point she was interrupted by a journalist as she was answering a question over the Maguire relationship and beneficial access he may have gained because of his connection to Ms Berejiklian, she pointed a finger and angrily responded:
“Excuse me, let me finish, Let me finish, OK? I’ve given you your turn for the last three days. Let me finish,” she said.
“I know the people of this state know that I have done nothing wrong. I appreciate the questions you all need to ask and I’ve answered them in full detail, but you also have to respect my position as premier and let me do my job.”
Maguire faces ICAC
Scrutiny continues over her “close personal relationship” with Mr Maguire, which ran for five years, including a time when he resigned from Parliament in 2018 after a previous ICAC inquiry where he admitted he had sought payment to help broker a deal with a Chinese property developer.
During Mr Maguire’s evidence at the ICAC inquiry on Wednesday, he admitted failing to disclose his business interests and receiving thousands of dollars at his office as part of a “cash-for-visas” scam involving Chinese nationals.
Ms Berejiklian denies she had any knowledge of his wrongdoing.
The Premier hit back at reports during the press conference that her relationship with Mr Maguire made her a target of Chinese intelligence agencies.
“I say to that that’s complete rubbish. As the Premier of state, I pass security clearances that nobody else has to pass and I have access to information which assures me, which gives me assurance that what I need to be aware of and I always adhere to that.”
‘You’re going to defend him again?’
Later in Parliament, in another spikey exchange with Opposition Leader Jodi McKay, Ms McKay accused Ms Berejiklian of defending Mr Maguire.
Ms Berejiklian had warned Ms McKay to be careful with her words because of the ongoing ICAC inquiry.
Ms McKay retorted: “You’re going to defend him again? Let’s defend him again!”
Ms Berejiklian responded: “I say to the Leader of the Opposition, stick to the facts. Stick to what is real. And also note, that there is nothing wrong that I have done, or ever have done, or ever will do.”
Ms Berjiklian threw a dart back and said the Opposition Leader had sat in a cabinet with disgraced Labor MPs Eddie Obeid and Ian McDonald.
Ms McKay retorted: “Unlike you, I reported it to ICAC!”
‘The end result was nothing’
In the press conference, Ms Berejiklian also threw a sledge at Mr Maguire himself, referring to him as “this gentleman”, then correcting it to “this person”.
“If I had any suspicion that any member of Parliament, whether it was him or anybody else was doing the wrong thing, or using their office for the wrong purposes. I wouldn’t have blinked.
“Of course, I would have reported that.
“But this gentlemen, well, this person, had access to so many people and the end result was nothing.
“He actually tried to get things done and he couldn’t get things done.”
When asked how did she not know about his undertakings, she said he had “fooled a lot of people”.
She was then asked if he had made a fool out of her.
“That’s for others to make judgment on,” she said.