Former NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian lets her hair down on a Friday girls’ night out in one of Sydney’s ritziest suburbs
- Former NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian has been spotted in Sydney’s east
- One time leader of the state was in ritzy Double Bay early on Friday afternoon
- Comes after an ICAC investigation involving ex-Liberal MP Daryl Maguire
- Ms Berejiklian resigned as NSW premier on October 1 after ICAC announcement
Gladys Berejiklian has been spotted enjoying an afternoon with close friends in Sydney just a month after resigning from the state’s top job.
The former NSW premier made her way to Double Bay in the city’s affluent eastern suburbs on Friday afternoon to let her hair down after a tumultuous few weeks.
The black blazer-wearing ex-politician sported a green dress and crossbody bag, topping off the look with red lipstick and a fresh blowdry.
Ms Berejiklian resigned as the leader of the state on October 1 soon after the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) announced she was the subject of an investigation surrounding disgraced former Liberal MP Daryl Maguire, who she dated.
After concluding her evidence with ICAC in early November, the woman who led NSW through the Covid pandemic told reporters she now intends to ‘get on with her life’.
‘Every decision I made, in terms of the public office I held, was in the best interests of the community and the public,’ she said. ‘Now I intend to get on with my life.’
Gladys Berejiklian (pictured left) was all smiles when photographed in Sydney’s east on Friday
The former premier of NSW was out on the town in Double Bay, ahead of a girls night with close friends
The inquiry broadened beyond its primary probe into Mr Maguire’s business and political dealings to examine whether Ms Berejiklian breached public trust in the way she handled projects he was pursuing.
Whether she also engaged in conduct ‘liable to allow or encourage corruption’ by Maguire was also heavily scrutinised.
Ms Berejiklian has strongly denied any wrongdoing and was frequently exasperated during the examination in which she was more than once scolded by the commissioners for giving more context than the question required.
In her final day in the witness box on November 2, the former premier was shown a series of July 2018 text messages in which Mr Maguire told her to download instant messaging service WeChat and get a ‘private phone’.
‘They can read texts but not the little green man, it leaves no trace,’ he wrote days after he was first called before the commission.
Ms Berejiklian said she didn’t know if ‘they’ referred to ICAC or whether the ‘little green man’ referred to the app’s green icon.
‘I had no inclination to think that it was because he (Maguire) had done anything wrong,’ she said when grilled on the matter.
‘It could have been for privacy reasons.’
Ms Berejiklian also confirmed she never did buy a second phone.
The former premier was also asked about a tapped phone call in July 2018 in which Mr Maguire told her he had been summonsed to appear as a witness at the ICAC.
Ms Berejiklian agreed it was in ‘black and white’ in the transcript that Mr Maguire had made representations to property developers but she didn’t know all the people he mentioned.
‘Whether or not I listened or cared is another matter,’ she told ICAC.
‘I did not assume any wrongdoing.’
Ms Berejiklian (pictured middle) resigned as NSW Premier on October 1 after ICAC announced they were launching an investigation involving disgraced former Liberal MP Daryl Maguire, who she dated
ICAC are not expected to deliver their findings from their investigation into Ms Berejiklian for months
After initially hiding from the photographer behind her friends, the former premier of NSW eventually was soon happy to be snapped
In the tapped phone call, Mr Maguire told her he had introduced a former councillor to Chinese property development company Country Garden.
He maintained he had never ‘accepted a dollar’ nor ‘done a deal’ and Ms Berejiklian told him to ‘be honest and listen to your lawyer’.
Ms Berejiklian said she trusted Mr Maguire even after he was summonsed.
‘I had no reason to disbelieve him when I pressed him a number of times and he said he’d done nothing wrong,’ she said. ‘I trusted him.’
NSW ministers are required under the ICAC Act to report suspicions of corrupt conduct to the commission but Ms Berejiklian said she didn’t think there was anything she needed to pass on.
ICAC’s final report could take months – or even years – before it is formally handed down.
The corruption watchdog still has not issued its report into Operation Aero, a 2019 inquiry into political fundraising by the NSW Labor Party.