Former NSW premier Mike Baird and NSW Liberal Party deputy leader Stuart Ayres are among eight witnesses called for the first week of anti-corruption hearings into allegations against Gladys Berejiklian.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) on Wednesday afternoon released its witness list for next week's hearings for Operation Keppel, which was originally targeted at former Wagga MP Daryl Maguire.
Ms Berejiklian has denied any wrongdoing in relation to matters being investigated by ICAC.
Most of those appearing at ICAC next week will be current or former public servants in departments associated with awarding the major grants being investigated.
The witness list also has a link to former NSW deputy premier John Barilaro as his former staff member Peter Minucos has been called to appear on Tuesday.
Emails released to NSW Parliament show that Mr Minucos was a senior policy adviser to Mr Barilaro in 2017 and provided advice to a project engineer for the The Range function centre at Wagga.
Mr Minucos sent emails to the engineer advising how to recalculate the number of interstate visitors to the proposed function centre, boosting its claimed economic value to NSW and making it eligible for a $5.5 million grant.
That $5.5 million grant to the Australian Clay Target Association, along with $30 million in grants to the Riverina Conservatorium of Music, are now major focal points for the ICAC investigation.
The Australian Clay Target Association (ACTA) has declined to comment about the investigation and the Riverina Conservatorium of Music has denied any wrongdoing.
Mr Ayres took on the deputy leader position in the wake of Ms Berejiklian's resignation and at the time the ACTA was seeking the function centre grant he was the NSW Sports Minister.
Former ACTA executive officer Tony Turner told a previous ICAC investigation that he was contacted by an officer from the Office of Sport after he applied for a $4.8 million grant for the function centre and was told "the minister wants it bigger".
Mr Ayres has previously not responded to questions as to whether he was the minister being referred to on that phone call.
The Daily Advertiser does not suggest that any person appearing on the ICAC witness list has engaged in corrupt activities.
OPERATION KEPPEL PUBLIC INQUIRY WITNESS LIST
Week beginning Monday 18 October 2021
Monday 18 October
Tuesday 19 October
Wednesday 20 October
Thursday 21 October
Friday 22 October
The Hon Stuart Ayres MP
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