Tuesday 25 June 2024

Contact 1800 772 679

Contact 1800 772 679

The magazine of the Public Service Association of NSW and the Community and Public Sector Union (NSW Branch)

The Secret

The Secret

The behind-the-scenes story of the mighty rise and shocking fall of Gladys Berejiklian.

Alexandra Smith


Pan Macmillan

She had it all. Despite presiding over rampant environmental destruction that put the state’s koala population at risk; a massive sell-off of community assets; and the continual denigration of the Public Sector, Gladys Berejiklian (photographed below leaving an ICAC hearing) was enormously popular with voters.

Then came Daryl.

Alexandra Smith, who covers state politics for The Sydney Morning Herald, charts the rise of the hard-working daughter of Armenian migrants who climbed through the Liberal Party structure to the top job in Macquarie Street. Ever faithful to her party, Ms Berejiklian even waited her turn, ignoring the urging to take the job of Premier to give colleague Mike Baird a go.

However, her relationship with a largely unknown MP, Wagga Wagga’s Daryl Maguire, was her undoing. The 45th Premier of NSW eventually resigned her position as ICAC began asking questions about how public money seemed to reach the Riverina city far easier than other regions.

As other MPs question her judgement, Ms Berejiklian’s loyalty to the party fades away, with long friendships abandoned.

Of course, no recent NSW political drama is complete without John Barilaro, lurking in the background.

The Secret shows the truth of Otto von Bismarck’s observations that politics is like making sausages, your natural reaction is to look away from the whole sordid process.

Former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian leaves after appearing at the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) hearing in Sydney, Monday, November 1, 2021. The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption’s Operation Keppel has its first week of hearings into whether former premier Gladys Berejiklian breached public trust. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

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