Sunday 17th of January 2021

behold, here comes mungo calling the spade a shovel...


The most remarkable thing about the revelation of Gladys Berejiklian’s love life was that it was remarkable at all.

It is quite incredible that every person in the Macquarie Street bubble – government, opposition, staff, journalists, lobbyists, innocent bystanders – was completely oblivious to the fact that once the day’s work was over, the premier and her paramour would regularly go off for a bit of bonking in the background.

The New South Wales parliament is a seething cesspit of rumour and gossip, constantly skimmed in the hope of finding even a breath of scandal that can provide material for political advantage or just to make a good story in the dining room or the bar.

Secrecy is a non-starter, discretion unheard of. And yet apparently there was not even a hint that this sexiest of yarns was all but being hand-delivered to the hundreds who walked past it every day.

And while the press gallery was uninterested, others at least had a suspicion that something was going on. In Daryl Maguire’s electorate of Wagga Wagga some of his constituents speculated that their local member might be getting a bit on the side during his trips to Sydney, although they never dreamt he was going all the way to the top, and how intense it had become.

This was not a one night stand, a quick grab at a bit of rough trade after a hard day at the office, it was, as Berejiklian and the Independent Commission Against Corruption agreed to call it, a close personal relationship – but not an intimate one, not a partnership. Because that would have embroiled the premier in her own code of conduct. Even there she was being watchful and cautious.

But obviously not cautious enough once the two of them got together in what they hoped was privacy. While the media missed the long-standing affair for more than five years, the ICAC uncovered it with speed and efficiency: Berejiklian was not only raunchy but rash, not only embracing Daryl Maguire’s body, but tolerating, if not encouraging, his highly questionable morals.

And as no one knew – or at least wanted to know – there was no one to warn her that she was walking the finest of lines between her personal and public life. She was aware – she must have been aware – that her lover was a chancer and a wide guy long before he was sprung by the Commission. But she chose to ignore the reality, even after it became devastatingly public.

Such was her self assurance – her ego, her arrogance – that she believed that she could remain aloof from his shenanigans,  although he constantly paraded them in front of her. Whatever she precisely meant by the disclaimer “I don’t need to know about that bit” it could hardly be taken as a declaration of Maguire’s probity and innocence.

And this is where she fails the pub test. No one is accusing her of anything more than insouciance – there is no suggestion that she got herself further involved than listening to his delusional boasting. But she could have, and should have, stopped him. Even if she was unwilling to report him to the ICAC, encouraging him – continuing the close personal relationship – was simply unacceptable.

And it is clear that Maguire thought there was still potential profit  in keeping her on the hook – introducing her to shysters and spivs, handing out her private contacts to his clients, trying to pique her interest in his dodgy enterprises.  And the besotted premier never told him to just shut up and piss off.

Berejiklian is a successful politician, a competent premier; Scott Morrison called her his gold standard, which is probably fair enough given the bin full of cardboard cutouts he has to work with in his own ministry. But she is not Saint Gladys, some kind of immaculate conception, as her over-the-top supporters are now trying to portray her.

She has stuffed up, and not just in her choice of lovers. Her political judgement has been frankly appalling. And worse, she is utterly unrepentant. A cursory apology, a brief expression of regret – but no admission that she has actually done anything wrong or that there is a need for restraint and reform.

So presumably there won’t be any. She has no intention of resigning and her Liberal colleagues are too cowered to do anything more than mumble in backrooms. Maguire will bluster his way through the ICAC and Berejiklian will bluster her way through the parliament. And the long-suffering public will wonder anew why there always seem to be different rules, different standards, between the elite and the rest of us.

The smarties don’t take the law seriously – it is a game to be played with lawyers and loopholes, the aim of which is to win at all costs, none of the namby pamby nonsense of waiting for his captain to smite contestants on the shoulder and remind them to play up, play up and play the game.

Maguire was blatantly corrupt and he knew it – the excruciating details being teased out at the ICAC make that horribly clear. But he had no compunction in pushing past the limits –who needs ethics co when you have protection at the highest level of government. Maguire was quite literally in bed with the premier. From his perspective, that made him invulnerable.

And while Berejiklian was determined to keep herself at arm’s length, to turn a blind eye, she could not avoid being drawn into what is delicately called a climate conducive to corruption. Whether she admits it or not, she was irrevocably entangled in the net. Maguire and his croneys obviously believed that if they pushed hard enough, favours would fall their way.

As far as we know, they didn’t. And thanks to ICAC, there is no risk of them doing so. ICAC does not and should not make and enforce laws; that is for the elected politicians. Its role is to expose corruption, and in this case it has been spectacularly successful.


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 "she should stay because the likely alternative, NSW treasurer dominic perrottet, was even worse"...


at the mercy of the premier...

An audit of the funding arrangements for the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has found they threaten its "independent status" because the Premier can "restrict access" to the money it receives.

Key points:

  • In addition to ICAC, Ms Berejiklian ordered a review into the Electoral Commission and the Ombudsman
  • The report found the funding model makes it difficult to challenge decisions made by the ICAC
  • It also found the ICAC's access to additional funding risked its independence 

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian ordered a review into funding models of the ICAC along with other key agencies including the Electoral Commission, the Ombudsman and the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission.

The Auditor-General Margaret Crawford has handed down her findings, a week after Ms Berejiklian gave evidence to the ICAC which is investigating her former boyfriend and MP Daryl Maguire.

"The current approach to determining annual funding for the integrity agencies presents threats to their independent status," the report concluded.

"The report argues these risks are not mitigated sufficiently under the current financial arrangements."

The Auditor-General also found that the funding was not "transparent" and "there are no mechanisms for the agencies to question or challenge decisions made".

The ICAC, along with the other agencies, receives its revenue through the annual budget process.

But the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) and the NSW Treasury have restricted its funding through "efficiency dividends" and budget-saving measures.

The report says the DPC and NSW Treasury have interpreted legislation so that the full funding approved by Parliament doesn't have to be provided.

"This interpretation leads to the view that a Premier can restrict access to appropriation funding that was approved by Parliament," the Auditor-General found.

The agencies can ask the DPC for additional money to conduct its investigations and the ICAC has made requests on several occasions, mostly to cover large scale public hearings.



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the best outcome...

The Premier messed it all up. Gladys should have resigned, marry Daryl (we would have been happy to throw some confetti), then she would have visited him in prison for a few months, and when he got out, she would have helped him stay on the straight and narrow. And they would have lived happily ever after... Smiles all around...


But no, Gladys had to carry on as head-mistress of the class... Her world collapsed. Now, the ridicule is going to follow her for a long time, despite all the media trying to salvage her image. The ridicule isn't about her love life. She can love and marry who she wants — except crooks, petty thieves and liars who can place her in a compromised position. HER POLITICAL CAREER has been compromised by Daryl. The only way to make it right is to resign, marry Daryl, etc, etc...



when politics become a chore...

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro has said he did not think he was going to return to Parliament after he announced he was taking mental health leave four weeks ago.

The outspoken Nationals leader found himself in hot water in September when he threatened to split the Coalition government if concessions weren’t made on its koala protection policy.


Under pressure to quit and under fire from all sides, a week later Mr Barilaro announced he would take four weeks mental health leave.

But controversy dogged Mr Barilaro as reports emerged he would lose his licence over speeding fines.

Now back from his break, Mr Barilaro says taking time off was the right call.

“It is never easy to admit that you have got a mental health issue and you are struggling and suffering,” he told ABC TV on Wednesday.

“I remember being at home struggling to get out of bed.”

Mr Barilaro also revealed he almost quit Parliament at an emotional NSW Nationals Party meeting.

“In the back of my head, I thought ‘Do I announce today? It is over. I can’t do it anymore’,” he said.

“If you asked me three and a bit weeks ago, it felt like I wasn’t coming back.”

Things haven’t gone smoothly for the Coalition in his absence, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian weathering her own political storm over revelations she had a long-term secret relationship with former Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire who is at the centre of a corruption probe.

Mr Barilaro has thrown his support behind Ms Berejiklian.

“I support her 100 per cent and I feel for what she’s going through,” he said.

“It’s never easy when your private life is on display for all.”


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Read from top.


The problem is not the private life of Gladys, but about "protecting a crook"...

the cheek of the gladys !...

The war of words between NSW and Queensland has intensified, with Gladys Berejiklian issuing a stern message to Queensland over hotel quarantine expenses, saying it was time it "coughed up" the millions owed to NSW for doing the heavy lifting.

The NSW Premier accused Queensland of shirking up to $35 million worth of hotel quarantine fees, and said the same message applied to Western Australia, which owes NSW "$7 to $8 million as well."

"We've welcomed Australians back from all the other states. It's about time Queensland coughed up. I want them to pay their bill especially given they keep their border shut when they really don’t need to," Ms Berejiklian said. "When other states aren't respectful of that it does get your goat up."

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk hit back, making a veiled reference to Ms Berejiklian's recent ICAC appearances.

"I don’t think Gladys Berejiklian should be criticising anyone, frankly. I think she’s got enough of her own internal problems," Ms Palaszczuk said.

WA Premier Mark McGowan also responded to the claims, asking if he should send a bill for the Ruby Princess and “all the trauma that caused other states”, and said that WA was taking the most overseas returning Australians per capita of any state in Australia.

“We’re doing our bit,” he said. “If I was unkind I’d say maybe we should send a bill to the NSW government for the Ruby Princess and all the trauma that caused other states, or maybe we should send a bill to the NSW government for the billions upon billions of dollars we gave them in GST over the course of the last decade, or maybe this is just a diversion from the NSW government for the serious corruption that has been exposed at senior levels there.


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shredded and deleted from records crookery...

Notes given to the New South Wales premier, Gladys Berejiklian, regarding millions of dollars in disputed council funding were physically shredded, and then digitally deleted, in what was “not routine practice”, a parliamentary inquiry has heard.

On Friday, two senior staffers to Berejiklian testified before a NSW parliament committee that is examining the Stronger Communities Fund – which gave out $252m in funding to councils before the 2019 state election.

More than 95% of the fund’s grants were given to Coalition seats, and some decisions were made without signed paperwork or reasoning, according to the NSW Greens.

On Friday, the committee heard that Sarah Lau, a senior policy adviser to Berejiklian, sent multiple emails about the grants that said “The premier has approved” and “The premier has signed off further funding”.

But Lau testified that this was just “a turn of phrase” and Berejiklian did not “approve” the funding.

“It would have been more accurate to say she [Berejiklian] confirmed she was comfortable with the proposed projects,” Lau said.

“The truth is, she was not approving any payments under the grants program. As I have mentioned earlier, that was not a role that she had under the program.”

Lau said that Berejiklian indicated she was “comfortable” with the grants through a series of “working advice notes”, which have now been shredded and deleted.


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Too easy...


premier gave $40,000 from her "discretionary fund"...

Premier gave $40,000 from her discretionary fund to Maguire's electorate: inquiry


Two of Gladys Berejiklian's senior staff were called before the NSW parliamentary inquiry into council grants on Friday.

by Angus Thompson


Berejiklian refuses to say whether Maguire had keys to her house


The NSW Premier said she wouldn't respond to questions while a corruption inquiry into Daryl Maguire continues.

  • by Lucy Cormack


Berejiklian digs in to fight another week, but may not survive a further mistake

Voters in the suburbs are feeling sympathy for Gladys Berejiklian, who has party room support, for now. Yet, should that public support start to waver, that calculation may change.

  • by Deborah Snow
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The lady should resign gracefully rather than be indicted for having crapped on the people of New South Wales.