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Berejiklian faces second day at ICAC

Former NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian on Monday faces a second day in the ICAC witness box, after declaring if she had her time again she would still keep her relationship with Daryl Maguire secret.

Ms Berejiklian was on Friday subject to more than five hours of questioning at the Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry investigating how her love for the disgraced Liberal MP may have affected the way she dealt with projects he pushed.

Ms Berejiklian was played several intercepted phone calls, during which she discussed some of those projects with the former member for Wagga Wagga.

In one, she can be heard saying she got “$170 million in five minutes” for a hospital in his electorate.

In another, she says a public servant would be sacked, but only after he “fixed” a grant proposal Mr Maguire was advocating for.

She agreed the pair loved each other, contemplated marriage and discussed having a child, but denied Mr Maguire constituted a family member.

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

“I regarded him as part of my love circle – part of the people that I strongly cared for – but I wouldn’t have put him in the same category as my parents or my sisters.”

Even in hindsight, she would not disclose her relationship with Mr Maguire, she said.

Despite their feelings, Ms Berejiklian insisted he did not get any preferential treatment from her.

Ms Berejiklian told the inquiry she supported a $5.5 million upgrade to the Wagga Wagga Clay Target Club primarily because she thought it would improve the government’s standing in the bush after a damaging by-election loss in 2018.

The $20.5 million plan to build a recital hall in Wagga Wagga won her favour because she felt the Riverina Conservatorium of Music had been messed around by the public service.

Ms Berejiklian’s lawyers will on Monday get the opportunity to cross examine her.

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