“Ultimately” seeking to sell “access to the highest levels of government” – Maguire ICAC inquiry

Disgraced former NSW Liberal MP Daryl Maguire admitted to an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) inquiry that he used his parliament house office for private business and received “thousands of dollars of cash” for “a scheme involving the obtaining of Australian visas for Chinese nationals”.

Counsel assisting Stuart Robertson asked Maguire if he “effectively you turned your office on Macquarie Street into an office for G8Way International” – a company he controlled without being a formal director – and if he sought to “monetise your office” as an MP, and sought to “use your status” as an MP “with a view to making money”.

“Yes”, Maguire replied after a pause.

In the hearing, Maguire admitted to using G8Way International to sell access to the “highest levels of government”, but said many of the deals didn’t get off the ground.

Asked if the reason he didn’t want to formally be a director of the company (“conceal any formal record”) was he was “seeking to sell access and influence to the highest levels of government”, Maguire replied “not initially” but “I think ultimately” to the question [“So one of the things G8Way International was trying to sell was influence and experience that would reach to the highest levels of government?”].

“Do you agree one of the things that G8way International sought to sell as part of that networking aspect that you referred to before was access to the highest levels of government?”

“Not initially.”

“But ultimately?”

“I think ultimately, yes.”

He agreed it was “quite wrong” for him to be selling access this way.

Maguire also responded “possibly yes” when asked if he didn’t disclose the income he received from G8Way International to avoid unwanted scrutiny on his business dealings.

He also confirmed a “good relationship” with former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell and arranged for a Chinese delegation to meet with the then premier over a $400 million trade center proposed for Wagga Wagga in November 2012.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian is facing two no confidence motions in the NSW parliament today after revelations about her close personal relationship with Maguire from 2015 until August 2020. Labor NSW say they have the numbers in the upper house to pass a motion.

A vote of no confidence in the Upper House would not affect the government’s ability to govern

According to the ICAC website, “The ICAC is investigating allegations that, from 2012 to August 2018, the then NSW Member of Parliament for Wagga Wagga, Mr Daryl Maguire, engaged in conduct that involved a breach of public trust by using his public office, involving his duties as a member of the NSW Parliament, and the use of parliamentary resources, to improperly gain a benefit for himself and/or entities close to him. These entities included G8way international / G8way international Pty Ltd and associated persons.”

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