Just to recap on this morning’s crucial evidence, Icac played a number of recordings of intercepted messages and phone conversations between Gladys Berejikilian and Daryl Maguire.
The most significant was a series from 16 May 2018. That’s a few months before Maguire was forced to resign from parliament.
First, we see a message sent from Maguire to Berejiklian about 11am in which he complains about a lack of funding for local projects in his electorate of Wagga Wagga in the forthcoming budget. He says:
I just went to see treasurer staff ! No money for stage 3 Wagga hospital needs 170 million , no money Tumut hospital ! No money north Wagga school , just piddling sum for graffiti removal ? Gee
Counsel assisting the commission Scott Robertson then played a phone conversation from a few hours later, about 4.30pm. In it, Maguire again complains about the lack of funding:
I said, ‘You better fucking make sure Wagga’s got money otherwise there’s gonna be a riot on your hands.’
I’ll deal with it. I’ll fix it.
Then, about two hours later, on another call, Berejiklian says:
I just spoke to Dom and I said put the 140 in the budget. He goes, ‘No worries.’ He just does what I ask I ask him to.
Maguire again complains that he wants $170m for Wagga hospital, to which Berejiklian responds:
Whatever it is, 170 I said … I think it’s around 140, I said, ‘Just put it in.’ He’s putting it in whatever it is, OK.
The calls were played after Berejiklian had been denying to Robertson that Maguire had a different level of access to her as any other backbench MP.
After the clips were played, Robertson put it to her that “if it was someone else raising these kinds of concerns you wouldn’t have taken those steps”.
She denied that, saying she couldn’t recall the details of the conversation but that it wouldn’t have been possible to intervene in the way she suggested on the call if the project hadn’t already been funded, and that if another “irate” colleague had contacted her she still would have intervened.