Former Wagga MP Daryl Maguire has told an corruption inquiry that he discussed "problems" with Gladys Berejiklian, such as his $1.5 million debt, and sought guidance from the NSW Premier who was his secret partner at the time.
Mr Maguire was yesterday played audio at the Independent Commission Against Corruption of an intercepted phone call with Ms Berejiklian in which he told her he was close to a "Badgerys Creek" deal and this would clear his "bad debt".
"It looks like we have finally got the Badgerys Creek stuff done. That's good. I'll be glad when that's done because I'll make enough money to pay off my debts, which will be good," Mr Maguire told Ms Berejiklian on the phone in September 2017.
"Can you believe it, in one sale?"
Ms Berejiklian replied "I can believe it".
Mr Maguire agreed with counsel assisting ICAC Scott Robertson that "Badgerys Creek stuff" was a potential sale of western Sydney land owned by horse racing heir Louise Raedler-Waterhouse, which could have netted him hundreds of thousands of dollars and possibly "up to $1.5 million".
Mr Maguire agreed that he was expected to "grease the wheels" with any NSW government planning or road issues around Ms Waterhouse's land in return for his fee.
Mr Robertson asked Mr Maguire about what he told Ms Berejiklian about the Waterhouse land potential sale.
"I just can't recall," Mr Maguire said. "It might have been a broad discussion."
Mr Maguire agreed he informed Ms Berejiklian of his business activities "in general terms" via "general conversation" and "may have" mentioned property development and Ms Waterhouse to her.
Mr Robertson asked if he told Ms Berejiklian about his level of debt prior to the September 2017 phone call.
"I may have raised it seeking some guidance about - reassurance about - what I was doing," Mr Maguire said.
"I only have a few friends that you could raise these things with. I would have run it past her perhaps to get a view ... with property or trying to solve some issues ... general problems I was having in life."
Yesterday was Mr Maguire's second day in the witness box for the current ICAC inquiry, also known as Operation Keppel.
In other news:
On his first day giving evidence on Wednesday, Mr Maguire admitted he breached public trust by involving Wagga businesses in a cash-for-visas scam and used his public office for personal gain.
Mr Maguire told ICAC yesterday that he was receiving a tax-free Parliamentary pension of $80,000 per year, which had been reduced as he took a lump sum settlement and part was going to his ex-wife.
Mr Maguire referred to Ms Berejiklian as "Glad" at ICAC and there have been phone intercepts of Ms Berejiklian referring to him as "hokis", which is Armenian for "my beloved".
Mr Maguire agreed they were no longer in a "close personal relationship" as of August. "Not after the events of this [inquiry], I wouldn't be," Mr Maguire said.