Premier defends herself over Daryl Maguire grant claims
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has defended herself against any possible conflict of interest claims over a multimillion-dollar government grant given to a local shooting club in the electorate of her MP lover Daryl Maguire.
The Wagga Wagga-based Australian Clay Target Association was awarded $5.5 million when Ms Berejiklian was treasurer, after lobbying by Mr Maguire.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption has heard the disgraced MP secretly attempted to gain a commission from the development of the clubhouse. It is not suggested Ms Berejiklian was aware of his potential commission.
Ms Berejiklian oversaw the Restart NSW fund in December 2016, when a "funding reservation" was made for the grant, pending an Infrastructure NSW assessment.
Mr Maguire announced the government grant in January 2017. It has been reported the funding would have to be submitted bythe NSW Treasurer for endorsement by the Expenditure Review Committee.
When quizzed about the grant yesterday, Ms Berejiklian said the grant went through normal "government processes".
"I don't intervene in those processes," she said. "The integrity body had all that information and they stated I'm not a witness, I'm there to support the inquiry. As treasurer you oversee all funds that are going through but that's up to therelevant minister."
Asked if she discussed the grant with Mr Maguire, Ms Berejiklian said: "As I've said … the integrity agency had all this information and they've stated I'm not a … witness."
She was then asked if she had any role in facilitating the grant, and whether "it was a serious conflict of interest".
"There are a number of incorrect assumptions in your question," Ms Berejiklian said.
ICAC is expected to hand down its findings on its inquiry into Mr Maguire's conduct as an MP, during which his relationship with the Premier was unearthed, early next year.
Originally published as Premier defends herself over Daryl Maguire grant claims