11/09/2021 BY SONIA HICKEY
WHY has Gladys Berejiklian announced an abrupt end to the 11.00 a.m. Covid-19 presser?
The decision followed a journalist’s questions whether she is the subject of a corruption inquiry by ICAC – questions which she refused to answer, and many believe …
-that ICAC has now upped the ante in its investigation into her former boyfriend, Daryl Maguire
-documents reveal that she had dinner at Maguire’s Wagga Wagga home with a business associate he partnered with to run a cash-for-Visa scheme
.despite telling ICAC that she was ‘shocked’ to hear of the scam
–questions remain about what she knew about Maguire’s business dealings; how much she turned a blind eye to, and in doing so whether she acted corruptly
–ICAC has now issued S22 Orders to Berejiklian’s staff, other senior NSW ministerial offices and government departments
-ICAC investigators are focusing on a $5.5M grant awarded to a shooting association
–Berejiklian’s office has also been implicated in a number of other corruption scandals over the past 18 months
-including her office shredding and deleting at least three documents concerning the distribution of $252M in Stronger Communities Fund grants: 95% allocated to councils in Coalition seats prior to the last State Election
-a significant question yet to be answered: why the Berejiklian/Maguire relationship was not formally declared under the NSW Ministerial Code of Conduct
-under the Cover of Covid focus has been drawn away from the corruption inquiries; ICAC reports it is determined to continue with its investigations
As a result, the Premier may still have important questions to answer, which could seriously damage her credibility in the eyes of both her party and the people of New South Wales.