Monday was “one of the most difficult days” in Gladys Berejiklian’s life, but the outlook for her Wednesday is not much better.
The NSW parliament is set to debate a no confidence motion moved against the premier by Labor, after she on Monday revealed she had been in a relationship with a former MP now at the centre of a corruption probe.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption has accused former Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire of using his public office to improperly gain a benefit for himself or for G8way International, a company he allegedly effectively controlled.
Tuesday’s parliamentary sitting brought together all MPs for the first time since the premier revealed the five-year relationship, and Opposition Leader Jodi McKay wasted no time in capitalising on Berejiklian’s “personal nightmare”.
She accused the premier of being complicit in Mr Maguire’s alleged corruption by neglecting her legal obligations to report it to ICAC.
Phone intercepts played at ICAC on Monday recounted numerous occasions in 2017 and 2018 in which Mr Maguire – who resigned from NSW parliament in 2018 in connection to a separate ICAC inquiry – discussed his business dealings with Ms Berejiklian.
Ms Berejiklian on Tuesday struggled to explain to reporters why her phone calls with Mr Maguire didn’t constitute knowledge of his business interests or prompt concerns of wrongdoing.
“She turned a blind eye to corruption in her government by failing to report her knowledge of Daryl Maguire’s business dealings for six-and- a-half years,” Ms McKay said.
Senior federal and state Liberal MPs on Tuesday rallied around Ms Berejiklian, who in parliament again insisted she had no inkling her ex-boyfriend’s dealings may be dodgy and said she had been “full and frank” in giving evidence to the inquiry.
Labor MPs heckled the premier as she told the parliament she had at all times acted with integrity.
“At any stage, had myself or any of my colleagues or the public servants who were in contact with him picked up that there was any wrongdoing, it would have been reported,” she said.
“I bet there are times when you thought you could trust someone and you couldn’t.”
The no confidence motion will be debated on Wednesday, but would need the support of government MPs to pass.
While Ms Berejiklian is under the spotlight in parliament, her former boyfriend Maguire will be grilled by ICAC.
His evidence could also create major headaches for the premier.