In recent days, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has been the centre of controversy amidst an investigation by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) in New South Wales into former MP Daryl Maguire, with whom Berejiklian was once in a “close personal relationship.”

In September 2020 ICAC announced that investigations were being conducted into Maguire’s actions and into whether or not he had sought to monetise his position as a Member of Parliament.

This investigation is looking into the way in which Maguire used his public office to facilitate a land sale involving Louise Waterhouse near the proposed Western Sydney airport. It has been reported that Maguire was lobbying roads and maritime services as well as officials in the Premier’s office. If he was successful, ICAC has learned that Maguire could have potentially gained at least $690,000 in commission.

ICAC has since learned that Maguire used Berejiklian’s office to secure a meeting for Waterhouse and Melinda Pavey, who was then the roads minister. On October 6, 2020 it was revealed that Maguire had provided Waterhouse with Berejiklian’s personal email address.

Recorded phone conversations have revealed that the Waterhouse issue was repeatedly discussed between Maguire and Berejiklian. With the current investigation into Maguire’s past, many of Berejiklian’s colleagues have begun to doubt the Premier’s future.

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 In a time of controversy, Sydney MP Alex Greenwich, a prominent LGBTQI activist and Independent MP for Sydney, has voiced his disapproval for critics of Berejiklian in regards to this matter, stating on Twitter that “I’m not supporting the vote of no-confidence.” Greenwich stated on Twitter that “there are no corruption charges against the Premier. The ICAC inquiry is into Daryl Maguire whose resignation I called for in 2018.”

In a statement to Star Observer, Greenwich has articulated that a motion of no-confidence is indicative of “maladministration and corruption” as there are no charges against the Premier, and that “the Premier continues to work hard to get us through the pandemic.”

Berejiklian survived a no-confidence motion in the NSW upper house on Wednesday, October 14, with Liberal President John Ajaka using his vote to defeat the motion, and in the lower house where the Coalition has a majority.

On Friday afternoon Maguire stated that he limited the information that he gave to Berejiklian, as the ICAC inquiry continues. Berejiklian also stated in a press conference that “I’m just focused on doing my job for New South Wales,” that she is a “witness” in the inquiry and that support from the community and her colleagues is “deeply appreciated.”

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