‘Ms Maguire’: Gladys attacked by reporter

 

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has been grilled by reporters at a fiery press conference amid fresh calls for her to resign over a shredding scandal linked to $250 million in council grants.

Reporters also probed her over the ongoing koala policy saga, with one reporter demanding she answer his question about land clearing.

"Answer the question Ms Berejiklian … sorry, Ms Maguire maybe," he said.

But the Premier ignored the gibe.

Ms Berejiklian denied being aware of documents being shredded in her office and argued there were still records available, but would not comment on what those records were.

"I'm advised my office fully complied with all matters of the State Records Act," she said.

The Premier was grilled during a fiery press conference. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Damian Shaw
The Premier was grilled during a fiery press conference. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Damian Shaw

"Do you support the shredding of documents and will that continue to occur?" one reporter asked the Premier.

"As I said, I expect my office and every office to comply (with the State Records Act)," she said.

The reporter then asked: "Is shredding documents a practice you endorse?"

"I endorse complying with the State Records Act," she said.

Earlier today, the Premier was forced to shut down fresh calls for her to resign over the shredding scandal, saying her department did not breach any laws and any claims it did were "untrue".

Her rebuttal comes after the state's former auditor-general said shredding documents linked to $250 million in council grants was likely unlawful.

Sarah Lau, one Ms Berejiklian’s senior policy officers, told the inquiry documents were shredded and electronic copies deleted. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Bianca De Marchi
Sarah Lau, one Ms Berejiklian’s senior policy officers, told the inquiry documents were shredded and electronic copies deleted. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Bianca De Marchi

"The role that the Premier's office had in the shredding of documents is good reason for her departure. She should resign," Tony Harris said.

The opposition has also argued shredding documents breaches the State Records Act and has referred Ms Berejiklian to the NSW police commissioner to launch an investigation.

"With all due respect, Mr Harris hasn't been auditor-general for more than 30 years," the Premier told the Today show.

"The claims he is making are untrue, and I just wish people would look at the facts and say what our government is doing is supporting communities across the state.

"We provide direct funding to councils. I know councils always want more, but at the end of the day we have always done right by the community, and will continue to do that."

Gladys Berejiklian has branded ‘unlawful’ shredding claims as untrue. Picture: POOL via NCA NewsWire / James Gourley
Gladys Berejiklian has branded ‘unlawful’ shredding claims as untrue. Picture: POOL via NCA NewsWire / James Gourley

She also denied Treasury breached the act by shredding paper and digital records.

"The best advice I received is laws have been adhered to and that's how we will continue to do things in NSW," Ms Berejiklian said.

But Mr Harris earlier confessed there had been no "persuasive reason" for her to step down - on the back of bombshell revelations about her relationship with disgraced MP Daryl Maguire - but "when you package everything up together, it's time for her to go".

The revelation came during a NSW parliamentary inquiry last week.

Sarah Lau, one Ms Berejiklian's senior policy officers, told the inquiry documents were shredded and electronic copies deleted.

The inquiry is investigating the allocation of $250 million worth of grants under the Stronger Communities Fund to councils across NSW

Six grants were awarded to projects in the electorate of Wagga Wagga in 2017 when the Premier was in a relationship with Mr Maguire, the then Wagga Wagga MP.

Originally published as 'Ms Maguire': Gladys attacked by reporter


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