SCOTT ROBERTSON, COUNSEL ASSISTING: State your full name please.
GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN, NSW PREMIER: Gladys Berejiklian.
SCOTT ROBERTSON: You are the Premier of the state of New South Wales?
GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN: Proudly so.
SCOTT ROBERTSON: As Premier you are closely familiar with the New South Wales ministerial code of conduct. Is that right?
GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN: I am.
SCOTT ROBERTSON: Ms Berejiklian, have you ever been in a close personal relationship with Mr Maguire?
GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN: Yeah, I would like to state at the outset that Mr Maguire was a colleague of 15 years. He was someone that I trusted, who was a trusted colleague.
RUTH McCOLL, COMMISSIONER: Ms Berejiklian, you should answer the question.
GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN: I am answering the question.
RUTH McCOLL: You should answer it directly.
GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN: Certainly.
RUTH McCOLL: A yes or no answer.
GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN: And that developed into a close personal relationship.
SCOTT ROBERTSON: Are you still in a close personal relationship with Mr Maguire?
GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN: No.
GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN (at press conference): What is, what I regard as a personal nightmare. If I had done something wrong, I would be the first one to consider my position but I haven’t.
Had I known then what I know now, of course I would have had nothing to do with him but I did not know the extent of what he was alleged to have done.
LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Alexandra Smith is the state political editor for the Sydney Morning Herald.
Alexandra, the public in New South Wales largely respects the job that the Premier has done handling the coronavirus pandemic and the bushfires this year but the million-dollar question is, can she survive this?
ALEXANDRA SMITH, SYDNEY MORNING HERALD: Yeah, it was truly extraordinary evidence today, Leigh, that came out at the ICAC inquiry.
Nobody saw it coming, not her colleagues. She says not even her closest friends or family and what Gladys Berejiklian told that inquiry was that she’d been for a long time, in fact, five years, been having a close personal relationship with the disgraced MP, Daryl Maguire, who is accused of corruption.
That relationship was ongoing and it kept going after Mr Maguire was forced to resign from Parliament in 2018. His resignation forced a really damaging by-election for the government which they lost to an independent, significantly reducing their majority in the Lower House and then today we hear that during that period the Premier was in a relationship with him.
LEIGH SALES: How has she explained remaining in the relationship with him after he was forced to resign in 2018?
ALEXANDRA SMITH: Well, that’s a question that she was really pushed on at her press conference after her ICAC appearance.
She said that he had gone through a terrible time. He was very distraught, he had lost his job, he’d lost his position in Parliament and she was there for him as a friend.
She kept saying in hindsight, that was perhaps the wrong thing to do but she felt she needed to be there.
She described him at that point as her best friend so she felt she really needed to be there for him despite obviously him being a disgraced MP by that point.
LEIGH SALES: From the evidence we have heard so far, has she done anything wrong?
ALEXANDRA SMITH: No, she hasn’t done anything wrong. There won’t be any adverse findings from ICAC against her but really what she has done is she has left her judgement open to be questioned.
There were plenty times when, and we heard this through intercepted phone calls that were played to ICAC, there were plenty of times when it was clear that Mr Maguire was trying to secure land deals and property deals and things like that and although she was never involved in any of it and clearly was uncomfortable by the recordings that were played, she was still involved with him and like you said, she kept being involved with him when he was forced out of Parliament.
LEIGH SALES: No doubt everyone will be very interested in his appearance before the inquiry this week. Alexandra, thank you for your time.
ALEXANDRA SMITH: Thank you.