Former New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has denied that a message from her secret partner urging her to get a second phone should have sent alarm bells ringing.
Ms Berejikilian is back in the ICAC hot seat this morning, as the anti-corruption watchdog looks at whether or not she breached the public trust. Ms Berejiklian has consistently denied any wrongdoing.
Today Ms Berejikilian has been walked through a number of scenarios that could have potentially raised concerns over whether Daryl Maguire was involved in any questionable activities, including him “providing a whole list of properties” to Chinese property developer Country Garden.
Counsel assisting Scott Robertson directed Ms Berekilian to text messages where Mr Maguire told her to download WeChat, a Chinese instant messaging app.
“You need to get a private phone,” Mr Maguire also wrote in one text.
Ms Berejiklian said she had no recollection of that conversation and reminded the inquiry that she did not purchase a private phone.
“He may well have said it to me,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“But other colleagues did as well because I was someone who never had a separate phone.”
She said she wasn’t concerned by Mr Maguire’s suggestions, and believed it was probably just because of “privacy” – and nothing untoward.
“I did not assume any wrongdoing and I assumed that where he had any private interests of any description that they would be disclosed in the appropriate way.”
Earlier, Ms Berejiklian said she had no recollection of a conversation in 2018 where Mr Maguire revealed he had been talking to Chinese developers.
The inquiry was directed to a transcript of an intercepted call, in which Mr Maguire discusses “providing a whole list of properties” to Chinese property developer Country Garden.
Ms Berejiklian said she did not remember that conversation and had not “absorbed” any detail.
ICAC is investigating whether the former premier had a conflict of interest when she awarded multi-million-dollar grants to projects in Mr Maguire’s electorate.
Last week, the inquiry heard a 2018 phone call where Ms Berejiklian told her then-secret boyfriend she would, in her words, “throw money at his Wagga Wagga electorate”
Ms Berejiklian resigned at the end of September when ICAC body announced a public hearing into whether her conduct involved a breach of public trust.
Ms Berejiklian has consistently denied any wrongdoing.
On Friday Ms Berejiklian doubled down on claims her secret relationship with Mr Maguire was not “sufficient” enough to declare, despite admitting she was in love with him and had “aspirations” to marry him.
When questioned over whether she would have disclosed the relationship if she “had her time over again”, she said she “would not have”.