Maguire, the MP for Wagga Wagga from 1999 until 2018, admitted to the state Independent Commission Against Corruption on Oct 15 he had been in an “on-again, off-again” relationship with Gladys Berejiklian when she was treasurer and then NSW premier.
Since revealing the relationship on Monday, including its end in August 2020, the premier has been forced to defend her integrity and has said she would have reported any wrongdoing if she had known about it.
The four-week inquiry into Maguire is expected on Oct 16 to delve into the final months of his parliamentary career.
Maguire resigned in humiliation in August 2018, a month after a separate ICAC inquiry played tapes of him boasting to a property developer about his “mega big” Chinese client.
The former parliamentary secretary this week admitted using his MP status and taxpayer-funded staff for personal profit.
The commission closed its doors on Thursday afternoon in order to hear matters including intimate details of Maguire’s relationship with Berejiklian.
The inquiry earlier in the day heard Maguire was told he would receive a kickback for helping to “grease the wheels” in a $330 million property deal in western Sydney.
It also heard a recording in which Maguire told Berejiklian he would be able to pay his debts with the payment from “the Badgerys Creek stuff”.
“Can you believe it, in one sale,” the then-Wagga MP said.
“I can believe it,” the premier replied.
The deal involved the sale of 233 hectares next to the proposed Western Sydney Airport to a Chinese developer.
Scott Robertson, counsel assisting the commission, on Thursday drew attention to Berejiklian’s response, including to the mention of a man referred to by his first name only.
“She doesn’t respond by saying, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about’ or “Who’s Jimmy?” or “What is the Badgerys Creek stuff’,” Robertson said.
Maguire said while he couldn’t recall telling the premier about the deal in advance of their September 2017 call “you could assume that”.
He said he would inform Berejiklian from time to time “in general terms” about the deals he was involved in.
“I don’t know that I ever went into specifics. It was just broad discussion stuff,” he said.
Luke Costin in Sydney