The Riverina Conservatorium of Music has sought to reassure its supporters that the Wagga-based institution is not being investigated by the NSW anti-corruption watchdog.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption last week announced an investigation into allegations that former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian had a conflict of interest in the awarding of millions of dollars to the conservatorium's relocation project.
Over two weeks of hearings later this month, ICAC will look at whether Ms Berejiklian had a conflict of interest due to being in an undisclosed close personal relationship with then-Wagga MP Daryl Maguire.
Conservatorium chairman Andrew Wallace emailed members of the institution's "community" on Wednesday to state that there was no "suggestion of impropriety in the way that the [conservatorium] has worked in our community or with government".
The email stated that the conservatorium was "extremely concerned by the reputational damage and misinformation now circulating".
Dr Wallace told The Daily Advertiser that the conservatorium was "only indirectly involved" in the matters being investigated.
"There's no suggestion of any wrongdoing on our part; we're not being investigated at all. I have had that advice come to me," he said.
Dr Wallace said the conservatorium was "not getting anything" in terms of money for stage one of the new recital hall complex.
"The money is being spent by the government for a government building which we will use. We will lease the building from the government at no cost," he said.
"There is nothing at all that we have done that is incorrect. We have just worked with the local Member [of Parliament]."
Dr Wallace said the conservatorium did not expect to be called to the ICAC hearings starting October 18.
"We are suffering from the mud because our name is mentioned; there's a black shadow about us that affects all sorts of things for us, our reputation in the community," he said.
The NSW government announced in February 2018 that it has allocated $10 million to relocate the conservatorium from Charles Sturt University's old South Campus site off Hely Avenue to the former Roads and Maritime Services building on Simmons Street.
That was followed by $20 million, announced in August 2018 during the Wagga by-election triggered by Mr Maguire's resignation, to build a recital hall for up to 300 people, an exhibition area for large events and a specialised early childhood music education centre at the new location.
In other news
ICAC has declined to comment as to whether it is looking at one or both of the grants to the Riverina Conservatorium of Music, with a spokesperson saying the commission would not add anything to its statement released on Friday.
Ms Berejiklian has denied any wrongdoing, stating that she "always acted with the highest level of integrity" in her ministerial positions and as premier.
ICAC is also investigating whether Ms Berejiklian breached public trust or had a conflict of interest in the awarding of a $5.5 million grant to the Australian Clay Target Association to build The Range function centre in Wagga.
ACTA chief executive Paul Gilbert declined to comment as it would not be appropriate to do so while the ICAC investigation was ongoing.
ICAC has yet to release its witness list for the first week of hearings into the grants.
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