Disgraced Wagga MP Maguire refuses to quit politics

Disgraced Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire refuses to quit politics


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Mr Maguire quit the Liberal Party on Friday evening after he was caught out in secret recordings discussing a possible commission he and a local councillor could pocket from the sale of a Sydney property to one of China's biggest developers.

Mr Maguire quit the Liberal Party on Friday evening after he was caught out in secret recordings discussing a possible commission he and a local councillor could pocket from the sale of a Sydney property to one of China's biggest developers.

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He has stood down from the Liberals, but remains in parliament as an independent MP

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Disgraced NSW MP Daryl Maguire is refusing to resign from parliament but has announced he won't recontest the next state election after being dragged into a corruption scandal.

Mr Maguire quit the Liberal Party on Friday evening after he was caught out in secret recordings discussing a possible commission he and a local councillor could pocket from the sale of a Sydney property to one of China's biggest developers.

In the conversations, played to the Independent Commission Against Corruption, Mr Maguire was heard boasting of Chinese clients with "mega money" to the Canterbury City councillor now at the centre of an investigation.

The member for Wagga Wagga resigned from his role as parliamentary secretary and stood down from the Liberals, but remains in parliament as an independent MP.

Mr Maguire dug his heels in on Monday afternoon, saying he would continue to serve as on the crossbench until the March election.

"I won't resign. I'm not going to resign," Mr Maguire said in a video statement posted on Facebook.

"I'll continue to work for the people of Wagga Wagga, as I've always done."

Mr Maguire raised the cost of a by-election as a reason to stay on, but confirmed he won't be recontesting the next election.

"I won't put the taxpayer to the cost of having a by-election. I think that unreasonable and I think its a cost that the taxpayer doesn't need," he said.

"It's business as usual at the office."

Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Sunday said said she felt "deep disappointment" at the conduct of Mr Maguire and asked that he reconsider his future in politics.

But Labor's acting opposition leader described her reaction as "weak" and suggested she was afraid of the ensuing byelection if he resigned.

Michael Daley instead called for a full audit of meetings Mr Maguire may have had with any NSW cabinet ministers.

"What deals actually came to fruition? What meetings with ministers did Daryl Maguire have?" he told reporters on Monday.

"What about others that we don't know about?"

Mr Maguire told ICAC no commissions ever eventuated from brokering property deals with then-councillor Michael Hawatt.

The inquiry heard Mr Maguire telling Mr Hawatt he had a client who would be interested in a site in Canterbury which had been approved for 300 units May 2016.

He asked Mr Hawatt what the likely "margin" would be from the sale before pushing for a larger sum so it could be "divided by two, if you know what I mean?".

When asked who the other interested person would be, Mr Maguire said: "Well, I suspect it was me".

Mr Maguire, who has held the safe Liberal seat since 1999, apologised for causing "distress and embarrassment" to the party following his evidence.

The premier on Sunday said she would bring forward Liberal party nominations for the seat of Wagga Wagga so an "appropriate" new candidate could be preselected.

Australian Associated Press

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