Daryl Maguire is resisting calls to stand down as Wagga’s MP after resigning from the Liberal Party following a damaging anti-corruption hearing last week.
Mr Maguire said he “won’t resign” on Monday afternoon but he will “bring forward” a decision not to stand for re-election in March next year.
This was despite saying he “could not risk Labor getting in” when asked about his political future in March this year.
Mr Maguire issued a media statement on Monday afternoon in which he again apologised for breaching parliament’s “very strict code of conduct”.
“I’m really sorry for those that have been offended; family and friends, I have let you down,” Mr Maguire said.
“Importantly, I now need to look to the future. I understand that the Liberal Party will open nominations (on Monday).
“I won’t be re-nominating for election in 2019. These events have brought forward a decision I had already made not to contest the 2019 election.
“In the meantime, up until the election date, I will continue to work for the people for the people of Wagga Wagga as I have always done. Wagga Wagga has always come first, always will.”
Mr Maguire quit the Liberal Party on Friday after revelations at the Independent Commission Against Corruption investigation’s into Canterbury City Council.
The commission heard a recorded phone call that detailed how Mr Maguire sought to use his influence as an MP for personal gain from a Sydney property deal.
Mr Maguire had intended to sit on the crossbench despite mounting calls, from both within his seat and from political leaders, for him to quit parliament entirely.
“Whilst it is for Mr Maguire alone to determine whether he stays on as the elected member until next March, I would encourage him to think carefully as to whether he can effectively represent the people of Wagga Wagga from here on in,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Sunday.
Ms Berejiklian said the Liberal Party would be “bringing forward the opening of nominations for the seat of Wagga Wagga so that an appropriate new candidate for the Liberal Party can be preselected”.
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Mr Maguire reiterated on Monday that he had resigned from his parliamentary secretary position and from the Liberals but would not resign from parliament.
“I still can continue to work on behalf of the Wagga Wagga electorate,” he said.
Mr Maguire said he would not “put the taxpayer to the cost of having a by-election” which he described as “unreasonable”.
Mr Maguire said he still had an office and staff to use to work on behalf of his electorate and Wagga should be “very proud” of it’s achievements.
“There have been highs and there have been lows,” he said.
Business acquaintance defends MPs
Adelong trucking industry figure Bunny Brown has defended Mr Maguire, saying that taking commissions was normal in many businesses.
“I’ve known Daryl a long time and he has done a lot for the trucking industry,” Mr Brown said.
“He has probably done the wrong thing in a way but he fought to repair a lot of roads for safety reasons .
“It will save the state a lot of money by not having a by-election
Asked if Mr Maguire should stay on the crossbench, Mr Brown said “he won’t do any harm there, will he?”
“There won’t be many in the trucking industry that look negatively on Daryl’s time as an MP,” Mr Brown said.