Disgraced former Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire admitted to using his ‘public office for personal profit’ in an inquiry by the Independent Commission Against Corruption on Wednesday. The ICAC is holding a public inquiry to investigate whether Mr Maguire’s activities amount to the criminal offence of misconduct in public office.
On the first day of evidence in the ICAC Inquiry, Maguire admitted that he accepted tens of thousands of dollars of cash through a cash-for-visa scheme while holding parliamentary office.
The cash-for-visa scheme involved Mr. Maguire receiving kickbacks for helping businesses employ Chinese nationals who never actually worked for the companies. It was allegedly run through G8way International – a company he “effectively controlled”. Although initially claiming that Maguire thought the scheme was legitimiate, upon further prodding, Maguire admitted knowledge that the scheme involved lying to immigration officials.
The inquiry also heard that Mr. Maguire used G8way International to provide “highest level access to the government” for private business projects.
Mr. Maguire was also confronted with evidence that he attempted to organise a meeting between property developmer Joseph Alha, then planning minister Anthony Roberts and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian in 2017. Although the meetings were refused, Alha was able to meet with Robert’s chief of staff Rob Vellar. Vellar has maintained that he was ambushed by the meeting.
The above were the key takeaways from the first day of evidence by Maguire. He will be back in the stand for his second day of evidence tomorrow.
Meanwhile, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian made a narrow survival in a vote of no-confidence at the Upper House of the NSW Parliament.
On Monday, the NSW Premier revealed to the inquiry she had been in a secret personal relationship with Maguire, prompting calls from the Opposition Labor party for her to resign.
The no-confidence motion was defeated (47-38) in the lower house and the (21-20) in the upper house on Wednesday. A tied vote of 20 for and 20 against in the upper house required chair John Ajaka MLC to cast his vote which was an against, therefore providing the premier with a narrow win.