Gladys Berejiklian’s scandalous defence, which her barrister has been pushing at the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) during the week, that she did not act corruptly in awarding a $5.5 million grant for the electorate of her former secret boyfriend Daryl Maguire, Wagga Wagga, because she was only pork-barrelling has come unstuck by a smoking gun memo.
ICAC are investigating $35.5 million in grants, including $5.5 million issued to the Australian Clay Target Association, that Gladys Berejiklian approved for the seat of Wagga Wagga when she was treasurer before becoming premier in January 2017.
The memo was sent to former NSW Premier Mike Baird from his then advisor Nigel Blunden on the 12-12-16 which makes it clear the grant was dodgy and it couldn’t have been pork-barrelling because Mr Blunden suggests that they would be better off spending the money elsewhere to pork-barrel as per below where he says at the end of the memo “At the very least, let’s target our marginal seats, not one of our safest,”
One of the other lines that is most damming is:
They should go away, test the assumptions, verify the business case and then come back when it’s solid. (this was suggested and it was taken off the agenda, but Daryl fired up and Gladys put it back on)
What the comment “let’s target our marginal seats, not one of our safest” from Nigel Blunden to former NSW Premier Mike Baird also shows is how openly and blatantly corrupt Mike Baird and his staff were.
I watched a fair bit on the ICAC hearing during the week and published the below video on Wednesday (20/10/21) regarding Gladys Berejiklian’s defence at ICAC. One of her barristers, Sophie Callan, is claiming Gladys Berejiklian wasn’t acting corruptly she was just pork-barrelling which is a disgraceful defence and shows how desperate Gladys is. Sophie Callan didn’t use the term “pork-barrelling”, she used the words “political purposes” to describe the $5.5 million grant, which is the polite way of saying pork-barrelling.
Gladys Berejiklian thrown under a bus at ICAC by NSW Deputy Liberal leader Stuart Ayres
Stuart Ayers gave evidence at ICAC on Friday and he was focused on saving himself and I tweeted the below message (Click here to see on Twitter)
It was reported on the 22/10/21:
Gladys Berejiklian should have disclosed her relationship with former Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire to avoid the perception of a conflict of interest when deciding on giving a multi-million dollar grant to a shooting club project that he had lobbied for, the deputy leader of the New South Wales Liberal party has told a corruption inquiry.
On Friday, the party’s new deputy, Stuart Ayres, who in 2017 was the minister for sport during the push for a controversial $5.5m grant to the Australian Clay Target Association now at the centre of the Independent Commission Against Corruption’s probe into Berejiklian’s conduct, joined other witnesses in saying he had no idea she had been in a secret relationship with Maguire. (Click here to read more)
Anyone who watched ICAC during the week knows that Gladys Berejiklian’s political career is over as the witnesses lined up to point the finger squarely at Gladys Berejiklian so I wonder what the Liberals who were encouraging her to run for the federal seat of Warringah are thinking now?
It was reported on the 4th of October:
Some federal MPs say Berejiklian is seriously considering the proposal to switch to federal politics, but believe she wants to wait until the investigation being undertaken by the independent commission against corruption is complete.
Supporters of Berejiklian are confident that the ICAC investigation will clear her of any wrongdoing, while Berejiklian has insisted she has always acted with “integrity”.
It is understood that the prime minister, Scott Morrison, is aware of the approach to Berejiklian about Warringah, which would give the Coalition a strong chance of taking back the blue-ribbon seat, currently held by independent Zali Steggall. (Click here to read more)
While Gladys Berejiklian approved the $5.5 million grant when she was treasurer it wasn’t finalised until August 2017 and by that time, she was Premier, and the new NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet was the one who signed off on the deal in August 2017 as reported by independent news website The Klaxon:
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet as Treasurer was responsible for the $5.5 million Wagga Wagga gun club grant, which was green-stamped despite it being “unusual” and the NSW Office of Sport not wanting “any involvement” in the project, according to internal government emails.
Documents from a cache released by the NSW Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) show that just weeks before the grant was awarded to the private Wagga Wagga gun club, in August 2017, NSW Government staff were concerned about the grant process – which needed to go to the “Treasurer” for approval.
“We need to ensure that the funding goes to public infrastructure, not to private assets on private land,” wrote Jenny Davis of Infrastructure NSW.
The July 8, 2017 email was to seven colleagues, spanning three NSW Government departments. “The project is unusual,” Davis wrote. “The ERC (Expenditure Review Committee) minute approved it before we had ever heard of it. “Our recommendation doesn’t need to go back to ERC, but it does need the Treasurer to approve it.”
The $5.5m grant, which is at the heart of ICAC’s investigations, was approved just weeks later, in August 2017. Perrottet was NSW Treasurer at the time. (Click here to read more)
There has to be a good chance that by the end of the ICAC inquiry a few more current politicians might bite the dust.
Former deputy Premier John Barilaro is due to give evidence on Monday (25/10/21) at ICAC and I have no doubt he will be looking out for himself a per usual. As I Tweeted on Friday (22/10/21): (Click here to see on Twitter)
It’s going to be a very long weekend for Gladys Berejiklian waiting to see how many other witnesses at ICAC throw her under a bus next week to save themselves. I’ll keep on following up on this matter as there is hard evidence, straight from the Liberal Party’s own mouths via documents and testimony in the witness stand which is something the public rarely gets to see, proving corruption goes right to the top.
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Categories: Mike Baird, Premier Gladys Berejiklian
Berejiklian should be charged (like Obeid) and lose her parliamentary pension if she is found to have acted corruptly. NSW has always been, is and always will be the home of political corruption in this country.
Why did she resign all she had to do was stand aside while ICAC investigated
Great work. Holding the criminal Coalition to account. Thanks
The Klaxon is all over this. They report that the building contract awarded in the $5.5m grant went to a company run by Kerry Pascoe, a former mayor of Wagga Wagga who was the subject of an investigation by NSW Local Government back in 2007 over questionable practices. Pascoe is still a Wagga councillor.
“Gladys Berejiklian’s political career is over as the witnesses lined up to point the finger squarely at Gladys Berejiklian so I wonder what the Liberals who were encouraging her to run for the federal seat of Warringah are thinking now?”
They’re probably thinking what they have always thought: she’d be a great candidate. Should fit right in from a workplace cultural perspective. Got all the smarts about pork barrelling, knows how to hide corrupt behaviour. A slight smirch with all this ICAC caper currently going on, which makes her a perfect fit for the modern federal Liberal party!
Gosh … something that didn’t end up in the Premier’s shredder.
I really hope calling John Barilaro Australia’s, “most respected and honest politician”, was sarcasm.
One media figure has noted that the Porter blind trust likely had provisions to pay well over a million dollars if Porter lost his case suggesting that the donors may well have been cut outs for a government slush fund of public monies. It also may explain why the Libs have sought to bury the Privileges referral in a general review which will not report until much later next year.
Albanese should force this issue in Parliament: “Can the Prime Minister confirm that no taxpayer funds have been provided by Christian Porter’s trust patrons or promised to him? Can the PM tell us how he knows no public money was ever spent or promised to Porter as part of his trust arrangement?” Almost any answer Morrison provides will be devastating for him.
The plot thickens as another NSW Premier is about to bight the dust. It’s easy to see why NSW leads the way when it comes to exposing corrupt politicians. It all comes down to having an independent, well funded integrity commission with teeth. A far more powerful integrity commission compared to other states.
It’s no wonder Scott Morrison doesn’t want a similar model in the Federal sphere. The last thing Morrison and his coalition of self-servers would want would be a powerful ICAC airing any of their dirty washing that’s piled up over the last several years.
She should have resigned like I told her to, when her “extra curricular” affair came to light (not that I’m an anybody) ’cause I said it would only get worse for her. Mind you, I’m glad she didn’t. Now I’ll be glad and she’ll be sad. Something poetic about that.
Hope the hammer falls hard on these mongrels… but there’s plenty more grubs in the bowl and on the periphery…
And this mob, like a bunch of banshees, howled in glee from the rooftops whilst Labor’s peccadilloes were being exposed.
Who, in this State (NSW) isn’t up to their eyeballs in the corruption stakes?
If Berejiklian ran for Warringah it would be a gift to Zali Steggall. All she’d have to do is raise an eyebrow in incredulity.
And the Liberal puppet masters now have another wooden dummy in place of Berejiklian an unfortunate woman with bad taste in bedfellows. Shame it is coming to light that this new puppet has left its sawdust all over that Wagga issue. Then we go back to the ever religious young Mick
Baird and the corruption. Ahh nothing like politics to grease the wheels of corruption