The Riverina Conservatorium of Music has distanced itself from the corruption investigation into former Wagga MP Daryl Maguire and says it remains extremely concerned about the reputational damage it has caused.
The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) yesterday found the disgraced ex-Liberal MP engaged in serious corrupt conduct during his time as the member for Wagga and while he was in a close personal relationship with the state's former premier Gladys Berejiklian.
The watchdog found Maguire was an "enthusiastic advocate for grants of public monies" for two Wagga projects, including the relocation of the RCM to a new government-owned site.
The RCM now occupies the facility, at 1 Simmons Street, which was raised within the ICAC proceedings.
Responding to Thursday's release of ICAC's Operation Keppel findings, RCM chairman Andrew Wallace said while the conservatorium was mentioned in the hearings, it was not under investigation, nor was there any suggestion of impropriety in the way it worked in the Wagga community or with the government.
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Dr Wallace said it was important to note that no funding came to the RCM.
"The redevelopment of the site was totally the responsibility of the NSW government through Property NSW," he said.
"The RCM will have access to the site under a like-for-like lease arrangement with the state government under conditions similar to those provided in the past by CSU. It remains the property of the NSW government and will be maintained by them into the future."
The conservatorium had called CSU's South Campus home since it was established in 1981 but was forced to look for a new home when the uni revealed in 2013 it would sell the site.
In February 2018, Maguire announced RCM's relocation to 1 Simmons Street, a vacant site regarded as surplus to the needs of government, with $10 million provided to Property NSW to repurpose the site's main building for music education programs.
The South Campus was sold during 2018 and under an agreement between CSU and the new owner, the RCM remained on the site until the refit at Simmons Street was completed in February.
The original relocation plan had a second stage, which required extra funding of $20 million and involved removing other older buildings on the site and replacing them with a recital hall.
The plan was supported as part of a 2018 byelection promise by then NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin and, as per protocols, a business case was required to justify the investment.
Dr Wallace said the business case remained under review, in consultation with the current Wagga MP Joe McGirr.
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