Sports Bureau Director Michael Toohey said today he does not believe a multi-million dollar government grant to the Australian Clay Target Association in Wagga Wagga is piling up, and said it would have been “absolutely” relevant to know that the deputy defending him was in contact with the treasurer at the time.
âI thought it was a complicated project. We had significant capacity constraints at the time. I was not sure that once all the due diligence was passed it would go smoothly, âMr. Toohey told the ICAC.
He agreed that he thought it was a risky project and that he did not understand why a funding submission to the government expenditure review submission had to be urgently drafted.
In his opening speech today, ICAC assistant lawyer Scott Robertson alleged that former Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire was vehement in his support for the project in his electorate.
Emails posted to the ICAC suggest that NSW Treasurer (and later Premier) Gladys Berejiklian also supported the ERC funding request at the end of 2016.
The ICAC is investigating the conduct of Ms. Berejiklian and Mr. Maguire in relation to the grant. The couple were in a secret relationship from around 2015 to 2018, the investigation has learned.
Ms. Berejiklian denied having committed any wrongdoing.
Mr Toohey says he only became aware of this relationship when it was revealed to the ICAC in hearings in October of the year.
“Would you have done something differently, would it have affected what you did? [if you knew about the relationship]? âasks Mr. Robertson.
“Absolutely. I would have expressed my concerns … to say that I thought it was problematic.”
He said he would have asked why the Office of Sport was asked to draft a funding request for a project allocation of funds in the electorate of a local member based on “little information” while the person was in a personal relationship with the NSW at the time. treasurer.
“I don’t see how this is anything other than a conflict of interest,” says Toohey.