Sunday, August 14, 2022
Home Politics Premier Gladys Berejiklian to resign after ICAC confirms it is investigating her

Premier Gladys Berejiklian to resign after ICAC confirms it is investigating her

The NSW Premier has resigned after a corruption watchdog announced it was looking into her conduct.

Gladys Berejiklian told stunned reporters on Friday it went against “every instinct” in her being to resign, especially at such a critical time as the state begins to reopen.

But, she was ultimately left with “no option”.

Her decision to resign came after the Independent Commission Against Corruption confirmed in a bombshell statement it would investigate whether she’d breached the public’s trust in the course of her secret relationship with a former parliamentary colleague.


The shock announcement came almost exactly a year after she revealed in a live-streamed ICAC hearing that she’d been in a secret “close personal relationship” with Daryl Maguire for several years.

The relationship between Ms Berejiklian and the former Wagga Wagga MP ended in August last year, the same month she was first drawn into the ICAC investigation, by way of giving private evidence to the commission.

Her public admission in October 2020 that she secretly dated Mr Maguire – who is under investigation by the ICAC for allegedly misusing his position as MP to enrich himself – led to a firestorm of criticism from other MPs.

Gladys Berejiklian resigned as NSW Premier on Friday. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper

Daryl Maguire and Gladys Berejiklian were in a “close personal relationship”.

Daryl Maguire and Gladys Berejiklian were in a “close personal relationship”.

But Ms Berejiklian survived two votes of no confidence in the days after her public testimony and has stayed in high regard with voters, who have mostly rated favourably her handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

For the last 12 months the Premier’s go-to answer whenever she’s faced criticism for her connections to Mr Maguire has been to say that her personal conduct is not a focus of the ICAC.


The commission’s Friday announcement demolished that argument.

“I love my job and I love serving the community, but I have been given no option,” Ms Berejiklian said on Friday, during a six-minute statement.

The other reason she felt she had no choice was the standard she’d set for colleagues who had faced various allegations of their own.

“As the leader of the NSW government, I have expected the highest of standards of myself and my colleagues,” she said on Friday.

“I have made it clear on numerous occasions that if any of my ministers were the subject of allegations being investigated by an integrity agency or law-enforcement, then he or she should stand aside during the course of the investigation until their name was cleared … that same standard must apply to me as Premier.”

Colleagues including her former sports and family ministers have resigned from the cabinet over allegations made to them by the ICAC and NSW Police, respectively.

Daryl Maguire is also under investigation by the ICAC. Picture: Dylan Robinson

Daryl Maguire is also under investigation by the ICAC. Picture: Dylan Robinson

In fact, while Ms Berejiklian was giving her 1pm resignation speech at her department offices at Sydney’s Martin Place, the ICAC was holding a public hearing into allegations against the former sports minister, John Sidoti, just a kilometre south of where she stood.

Ms Berejiklian was largely stoic when announcing her resignation, but her voice showed signs of emotion towards the end when she addressed the residents of the state to say “thank you”.

“I want to thank you, the people of NSW – when the chips were down in the past few years, particularly during the drought, the bushfires and now Covid – we stood alongside each other,” she said.

Gladys Berejiklian remained largely stoic while announcing her resignation.

“I hope you know you’ll remain foremost in my thoughts.”

Her voice then momentarily broke when she told people it would be the final time she would address them as Premier.

“So as I address you for the final time as your Premier, please stay the course and stay safe. We will be shortly out of this lockdown and be able to get on with our lives,” she said.

She earlier said she regretted “not to be able to finish the job to ensure the people of NSW can transition to living with Covid”.

Ms Berejiklian will also resign from her role as MP for Willoughby, which will trigger a by-election.


It wasn’t immediately clear who will take over as Premier. The Liberal Party will have a meeting on Tuesday where MPs would have a vote on the matter.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has long been seen as a favourite to succeed Ms Berejiklian.

The ICAC said in its announcement it will begin holding new public hearings from October 18.

The watchdog will investigate if she breached public trust in relation to her personal relationship with Mr Maguire.

Gladys Berejiklian has been Premier since 2017.

Gladys Berejiklian has been Premier since 2017.

ICAC said on Friday it would investigate whether Ms Berejiklian‘s relationship with Mr Maguire created a conflict of interest that resulted in her breaching the public’s trust by awarding grants to a clay target association and a music conservatorium in Wagga Wagga.

It would also investigate whether the Premier breached the public trust by allegedly failing to report conduct by Mr Maguire that may have been corrupt.

The ICAC also said it would investigate whether she was “liable to allow or encourage the occurrence of corrupt conduct by Mr Maguire”.

The investigation will be a continuation of an ongoing probe into Mr Maguire‘s conduct as an MP.

Ms Berejiklian said on Friday she had “always acted with the highest level of integrity”.

“In all decisions I’ve ever made as a minister or as Premier of NSW, my first consideration has always been the wellbeing and welfare of the people of the state,” she said.

“I state categorically, I’ve always acted with the highest level of integrity.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters she always acted with the highest level of integrity. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper

“History will demonstrate that I’ve always executed my duties, again with the highest level of integrity, for the benefit of the people of NSW.”

It was during public hearings into that matter that it was revealed that Ms Berejiklian had been in a secret five-year relationship with Mr Maguire.

Ms Berejiklian has been an MP since 2003 and Premier since 2017.

She is the third NSW Premier to resign as a result of an ICAC investigation since the corruption watchdog’s creation in 1988.


ACT Greens reveal federal election candidates

The ACT Greens announced their full suite of Federal Election candidates earlier this week. Accountants, environmental scientists, and librarians...


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Melinda Gates recalls decision to leave Bill as her ‘lowest moment in life

Melinda French Gates says the decision to leave her ex-husband Bill Gates was the "lowest moment" in her life. French Gates, 57,...

Abbie Chatfield ‘to replace Carrie Bickmore on her radio show with Tommy Little’ – but will their secret ‘fling’ make things awkward?

Abbie Chatfield is quickly moving up the ranks at Southern Cross Austereo, if industry rumours are to be believed.   

Professor Paul Griffin explains why vaccinated people are ending up in hospital with COVID-19

Since the Omicron and BA.2 subvariants of COVID-19 began to emerge in November 2021, cases of the...

Free live boxing as fists fly at a Melbourne high school

A brawl has between two men erupted outside a western Melbourne high schoolFootage shows the pair trading blows in the street in...

Recent Comments