SYDNEY, AAP – The NSW premier is urging disgraced state MP Daryl Maguire to consider quitting politics after he was caught discussing the size of his cut from the multi-million dollar sale of a Sydney property.
Gladys Berejiklian said she felt ‘deep disappointment’ after learning about phone recordings played at a corruption inquiry on Friday of the Wagga Wagga MP trying to strike a deal in 2016 with then-Canterbury City councillor Michael Hawatt.
Mr Maguire quit the Liberal party on Friday night after the Independent Commission Against Corruption heard the recordings.
The conversation revolved around the MP trying to arrange with Mr Hawatt the ‘dividend’ they’d get for helping arrange the sale to a Chinese developer.
Mr Maquire also quit as the government’s parliamentary secretary for counter-terrorism, corrections, veterans and the Centenary of ANZAC but currently plans to remain in parliament as an independent.
He’s denied ever receiving or sharing commissions from brokering property deals with Mr Hawatt.
The premier on Sunday said she would bring forward Liberal party nominations for the seat of Wagga Wagga so an ‘appropriate’ new candidate could be preselected.
While it was up to Mr Maguire to decide if he would stay on until the March state election, she encouraged him to ‘think carefully’ about whether he could ‘effectively represent’ the people of Wagga Wagga in the meantime.
Wagga Wagga mayor Greg Conkey has also called on Mr Maquire to seriously consider quitting parliament.
Acting NSW Labor opposition leader Michael Daley said Mr Maguire shouldn’t be allowed to remain on the crossbench as ‘a lame duck wrongdoer’ until the state election.
Mr Maguire, who has held the safe Liberal seat since 1999, has apologised for causing ‘distress and embarrassment’ to the party.