NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) has been spared further embarrassment over a Liberal MP’s involvement in a corruption scandal, with his decision to resign from parliament and the Nationals party’s confirmation it will not contest a by-election in the state’s south to replace him.
The Conservative Party has called out many instances of corruption associated with foreign influence and insists our laws need to be toughened to prevent it.
Ms Berejiklian said on Saturday that Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire had informed her he would quit his seat before parliament resumes on August 7, ending a week of discomfort for her government after he initially agreed to resign from the Liberal Party but insisted he would stay on the crossbench until the election in March.
Labor had warned it would move to have Mr Maguire expelled from parliament unless he resigned over secret recordings aired during a corruption inquiry that showed the MP discussing potential secret commissions for helping Chinese property developers.
A debate over the possible expulsion of Mr Maguire when parliament resumed was set to be potentially damaging to Ms Berejiklian’s government if the Wagga Wagga MP’s links to corruption were aired under privilege.
It most likely would have left the NSW Premier with little choice except to follow Labor’s lead and support the rarely used expulsion move — unless she could somehow circumvent it. A number of Nationals members had raised the possibility of running one of their own candidates in any Wagga Wagga by-election, posing a further unwanted political headache for Ms Berejiklian.
NSW Deputy Premier and Nationals leader John Barilaro ruled out that possibility on Saturday, saying he accepted that Wagga Wagga was a Liberal seat and his party would offer no challenge.
On Friday night, South Australian Conservative Senate Candidate Rikki Lambert spoke at a community forum about Chinese influence in Australia (click CC at the bottom of the Youtube screen for subtitles if the audio is hard to hear).
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