Gladys Berejiklian has announced she’s resigning as Premier of New South Wales and from NSW Parliament, as the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) launched an investigation into whether she breached public trust between 2012 and 2018, and if her private relationship with former Member for Wagga Wagga Daryl Maguire put her in a conflict of interest.
In an emergency press conference in Sydney on Friday afternoon, Berejiklian said she would be stepping down following the ICAC investigation into her conduct as Premier.
“My resignation as a Premier could not happen at a worse time… I have been given no option,” she said.
Gladys also confirmed that her resignation would take effect as soon as the NSW Liberal Party can elect “any parliamentary leader”, but today’s address would be her last as the state’s leader.
The ICAC confirmed in a statement on Friday morning that it will hold public hearings as part of the ongoing Operation Keppel from Monday, October 18, and will run for approximately 10 days.
The planned public inquiry is set to gather evidence relevant to the probe into the conduct of Berejiklian and Maguire, specifically grant funding given to several community organisations by the Premier between 2012 and 2018.
It also looks to gain evidence for the commission’s investigation into whether Berejiklian failed or refused to report any suspicion of corrupt conduct relating to Maguire over that time, in turn being liable to “allow or encourage the occurrence of corruption” under her leadership.
Berejiklian’s resignation follows a similar route to former NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell, who quit his role in 2014, following an ICAC investigation which revealed he had not declared a gifted bottle of Penfolds Grange.
It’s not yet known who will replace Berejiklian as the NSW Premier, but it’s assumed that Deputy Premier John Barilaro will stand in until a new Premier is announced.
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