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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Premier fires up over ICAC slur

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has survived a no confidence motion in the upper house by a single vote this afternoon.

With the house split right down the middle, 20-20, it was up to Legislative Council President, Liberal member John Ajaka, to cast the deciding vote – with Mr Ajaka giving the embattled Premier his support.

The Premier then survived a second motion in the lower house, winning by 47 votes to 38.

The vote coincided with the Premier’s former partner, former Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire’s appearance at ICAC.

Mr Maguire is facing the inquiry over allegations he used his position as an MP for his own financial gain.

Today he admitted to receiving payments from a cash-for-visa scheme at his Parliament House office.

He was also probed about whether high-profile property developer Joseph Alha had asked him to set up a meeting with Ms Berejiklian and then planning minister, Anthony Roberts, during a period when Maguire and the Premier were involved in a relationship.

Mr Maguire said he couldn’t recall. A recorded phone call was then played at the inquiry, where Mr Alha tells Maguire he’s “privileged to one appointment with Anthony Roberts and Gladys” so he could show him his “project”.

The meeting, however, never took place.

In a fiery press conference this afternoon, the Premier told journalists to “choose your words carefully” when pressed her for answers about her relationship with Mr Maguire and allegations of corruption.

“I will not have innuendo, incorrect statements put to me which I have found offensive, but in due course I have accepted to answer everything because it is in the public interest for the public to have confidence in me,” 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.”

Mr Maguire is back in the ICAC witness box tomorrow.

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