Former Wagga RSL Club caterer Tim Howe has told a corruption hearing that he walked away from a "dodgy deal" to employ as a chef a Chinese visa applicant with no experience.
Mr Howe appeared before the Independent Commission Against Corruption on Wednesday and gave details on a 2013 meeting at Sydney Airport with former Wagga MP Daryl Maguire's alleged business partner, Phillip Elliott.
Mr Howe said Wagga RSL chief executive Andrew Bell attended the meeting and paid for his flight, and a Chinese woman outlined a proposal to employ a young Chinese man with all wages reimbursed.
Mr Howe said he was told "in effect, he would work for nothing".
Mr Howe said he and Mr Bell "looked at each other" and "raised our eyebrows" when they learned about the chef candidate's experience, which amounted to washing dishes at a pizza shop.
"I needed someone who could cook," Mr Howe said.
In other news:
Maggie Wang, a Chinese-born woman, told ICAC on Tuesday that she attended the airport meeting in her capacity to run a visa scheme for Mr Maguire's financial benefit.
Mr Howe said he had the impression the chef might not attend work and was told "what to do if immigration turned up", which involved saying the chef was on leave, and this "set off alarm bells".
Mr Howe said Mr Elliott gave him an envelope that "had $1000 in it" and told him "that's for coming to the meeting" and that he returned the envelope because it was "a dodgy deal".