Daryl Maguire was a would-be entrepreneur who dabbled in oil and gas, a $42 million Gladesville property investment and a proposed Sam­oan casino and resort as he sought to set himself up comfortably for his planned retirement from politics, the state's corruption watchdog heard on Tuesday.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption heard they were among the failed business proposals entered into by the former Wagga Wagga MP since he began his secret relationship with Premier Gladys Berejiklian in 2015.

He island-hopped across the South Pacific allegedly on NSW parliamentary business as he set up meetings between prime ministers and businessmen and talked with Chinese and Japanese officials about multi-million deals, according to his former right-hand woman, Maggie Wang.

 

Maggie Wang on the stand today at ICAC.
Maggie Wang on the stand today at ICAC.

 

Ms Wang claimed that when his failed wheeling and dealing came to the attention of the ICAC in July 2018, he met her for coffee in Sydney and told her of an "unfortunate accident" when a tractor had run over and crushed his "phones and iPad".

Ms Wang said she took it to mean he had destroyed them.

Had Mr Maguire's retirement gone ahead as planned in 2019, Ms Berejiklian admitted to the ICAC on Monday the couple may have gone public with their relationship but she denied that meant she had at least a passing interest in his ­finances. But Ms Wang, who he referred to in bugged telephone calls as "darl", said that while Mr Maguire and herself had hoped to share commissions and what could have been massive profits, including about 3 per cent had the oil and gas business succeeded, none of the deals came off.

 

 

MAGUIRE 'HIT JACKPOT' IN MINING DEALS

Former MP Daryl Maguire told a business partner he had "hit the jackpot" when it looked like he'd be able to set up a meeting between a foreign mining technology company and Australia's oil and gas drillers.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption resumed on Tuesday a day after bombshell revelations that the former Member for Wagga Wagga was in a secret relationship with Ms Berejiklian for five years.

More intercepted phone calls from the former Member for Wagga Wagga, on Tuesday, were aired before the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

 

Former MP Daryl Maguire told a business partner he had “hit the jackpot”.
Former MP Daryl Maguire told a business partner he had “hit the jackpot”.

 

 

He was recorded speaking with businesswoman, Maggie Wang, about going half-half for introducing a foreign mining technology firm to a conference of gas and oil companies in Adelaide.

"I've hit the jackpot," he said, explaining he'd had a call from the CEO of the Mining Association.

Maguire, in the March 2018 phone call, told Ms Wang she should begin locking in the foreign technology group, which didn't speak much English, to act as their interpreter and escort to the conference.

"These people making inquiries they'd be wise to get to that conference and you go with them," he said.

Maguire, in the call, told Ms Wang she should get the group to sign a contract with her so she could get them to the conference where they could meet mining companies including Santos.

"They've got the worldwide patent, what you want is a share of the company and whatever they do in Australia so your consultancy fee might be 50 grand or 100 grand and after that you get a percentage," he said.

The MP said even the standard three per cent would be "big money" given it was the oil industry.

Maguire concludes the call agreeing he and Ms Wang would do "half half as we always do".

"Blood brothers, and sisters," he said with a laugh.

Counsel Assisting the Commission Scott Robertson said the pair had an agreement to split profits for making the introduction.

Late last month a recording of a call with Malcolm Roberts, CEO of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, where he asks for a "short cut" for an unnamed group who want to introduce some new technology at an Adelaide mining conference.

"What we want to do is have some introductions," Maguire says, introducing himself as Chairman of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Friendship group.

The ICAC heard that was a breach of parliamentary friendship group policies.

The corruption watchdog, earlier on Tuesday, heard Daryl Maguire's influence stretched across the South Pacific with the former MP and partner of Gladys Berejiklian confident he could set up meetings with heads of nations.

But his power was allegedly only available for a price.

 

The disgraced MP with Gladys Berejiklian.
The disgraced MP with Gladys Berejiklian.

 

 

Maguire, who is being probed for alleged misuse of his parliamentary position through the entire course of his relationship with Ms Berejiklian, appears to have numerous business interests across Australia and Asia.

One of the only schemes that allegedly bore fruit was an alleged migration scam that saw "phantom workers" from China put on the books of Wagga businesses that Maguire suggested.

The workers never showed up but businesses were allegedly paid $30,000 to lie to immigration authorities so the wealthy Chinese workers could secure visas in exchange for working in the regions.

Ms Wang allegedly oversaw much of the operation of the migration scheme and previously told the ICAC she handed Maguire bundles of cash for his role in the scheme.

Ms Berejiklian, on Monday, said she was shocked and disgusted when the scheme was revealed last month by Ms Wang and Wagga businessmen.

 

 

Maggie Wang in NSW Parliament House.
Maggie Wang in NSW Parliament House.

 

 

"Beyond shocked," The Premier said of her own reaction.

"Disgusted. Shocked, disgusted, let down. All of the above."

Ms Wang, on Tuesday, told the ICAC there were lunches in Sydney with Consuls and Consul Generals from four to six island nations - with herself and Maguire also present - where business was broadly discussed.

In October 2017, the inquiry heard, Shenzhen businessman Ho Yuen Li was looking to invest in a Samoan factory that accounted for 40 per cent of the nation's exports.

"If he took over it would be the biggest thing in that country," Ms Wang said.

Mr Li's investment was to be of such a scale, the ICAC heard, he expected to meet with the Samoan Prime Minister.

The ICAC heard Maguire would work to set up the meeting through the Consul General in Sydney.

Maguire will face the commission tomorrow.

 

Originally published as Samoan casinos and a $42m property: Maguire's pension plan



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