NSW Premier resigns after alleged breaches of public trust

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced her resignation in light of investigations into her potential breach of public trust by failing to disclose her relationship with the former member for Wagga Wagga, Daryl Maguire.

The NSW’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) today revealed that it would investigate whether Ms Berejiklian “exercised public functions” in a position of conflict between her public duties and private relationship with Mr Maguire, revealed in late 2020.

The ICAC is also investigating whether Mr Maguire used his position as a member of the NSW Parliament to gain an improper benefit for himself and his associates, says the ABC.

Mr Maguire resigned in disgrace in 2018.

The ICAC will hold public hearings for 10 days from Monday 18 October as part of Operation Keppel.

During her announcement, Ms Berejiklian made clear she had always expected her own ministers to stand aside when under investigation. She said the same standard must apply to her.

“As a leader of the NSW government, I have expected the high standards of myself and my colleagues and made it clear on numerous occasions that if any of my ministers were the subject of allegations being investigated by an integrity agency or law enforcement, then he or she should stand aside during the course of investigation until their name was cleared,” she said.

“The reason for my stance was not to have made any presumptions as to their conduct but rather to maintain the integrity of the public office which that person has held [whilst an] investigation was completed.

“That same standard must always apply to me also as Premier.

“The people of this state need certainty as to who the leader is of the state during the challenging time for the pandemic. I cannot predict how long it will take ICAC to complete the investigation, let alone deliver a report in circumstances [where I was] first called to give evidence nearly 12 months ago. Therefore, it pains me to announce I have no option but to resign from the office of Premier.

“Resigning at this time is against every instinct of my being … I love my job and serving the community but I have been given no option following the statement,” she said.

View the full announcement.

Are you shocked by this announcement? What do you think of Ms Berejiklian’s conduct? Do you applaud her decision to step aside? Why not share your opinions in the comments section below?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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