Gladys Berejiklian’s private life was put on display at the Independent Commission Against Corruption, but there were a few pieces of evidence deemed too invasive to be aired in public.
Among them: a Valentine’s Day phone conversion intercepted by ICAC and played in front of a closed session.
The counsel assisting ICAC, Scott Robertson, proposed that audio of the late-night phone call with former Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire be played in private so as not to “unduly affect the privacy” of the NSW Premier.
“The public interest in not causing undue embarrassment and the like is outweighed in respect of this particular call as compared with the public interest in exposure of the matters relevant to this commission’s investigation,” Mr Robertson told the commissioner.
Ms Berejiklian’s legal representative, Arthur Moses SC, did not object. The next dozen pages of ICAC transcripts were entirely blacked out.
After going back into open session, Mr Robertson’s questioning of the Premier revealed the blacked-out conversation related in part to Mr Maguire’s plans after retiring from parliament.
Mr Maguire resigned first from the Liberal Party, and then from politics, in 2018 after a separate ICAC inquiry. At the time, Ms Berejiklian publicly urged him to resign. But it was revealed on Monday she continued to carry on a personal relationship with Mr Maguire that lasted until last month.
The public did get to hear parts of the last few minutes of the phone call between Ms Berejiklian and Mr Maguire, recorded at 9.21pm on February 14, 2018.
“The other thing that I am thinking right (is) that I … need you to process in your head what you want to do right but I also need to come to the realisation that it’s not got anything to do with me,” Ms Berejiklian told Mr Maguire, according to the transcript.
“I’m trying to support, support you not stress you.”
As the phone call was wrapping up, Ms Berejiklian told Mr Maguire: “You’ve got to think about your stuff and I’ve got to think about my stuff, that’s all.”
Mr Maguire responded: “Hmm, well I am working on that Gladys. I’m going to bed see ya later.”
Mr Maguire is expected to testify in front of the inquiry on Wednesday.