NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian's documents approving of council grants were shredded by her office
Documents which Premier Gladys Berejiklian signed to give her approval of millions of dollars in grants to local councils were later shredded, a NSW parliamentary inquiry has heard.
The inquiry is investigating the allocation of $250 million worth of grants to local councils across NSW
Six grants were awarded to projects in the electorate of Wagga Wagga in 2017
At the time the Premier was in a secret relationship with Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire
One of the Premier's senior policy advisers, Sarah Lau, told the inquiry she also deleted electronic copies of the notes.
The inquiry is investigating the allocation of $250 million worth of grants under the Stronger Communities Fund amid accusations of pork-barrelling in the run-up to the 2019 NSW election.
Nearly all the grants were awarded to local councils in Coalition-held seats.
The inquiry heard that $141.8 million of the grant funding was allocated by the Premier, with $61.3million allocated by the Deputy Premier John Barilaro and $48.9 million by the Minister for Local Government.
Two senior staff from the Premier's office were today called to give evidence on the process by which the grant money was allocated and approved.
Ms Lau said she prepared two working advice notes on which the Premier marked her approval of the grants.
She said she later destroyed the notes because she had sent an email recording the outcome.
"And how did you dispose of those working advice notes?" asked Labor MP John Graham.
"It's likely they would have been shredded," she replied.
The Premier's former chief of staff, Sarah Cruickshank, was asked whether it was routine practice in the Premier's office to destroy documents related to the spending of millions of dollars in public money.
"No, I would say it's not," she replied.
Ms Cruickshank was also quizzed about six grants worth just over $40,000 awarded by the Premier's Discretionary Fund to projects in the electorate of Wagga Wagga in 2017.
"Are you aware of the Premier making any disclosures about her relationship with Daryl Maguire before approving these funds?" asked Labor MP Courtney Houssos.
"No, I'm not," Ms Cruickshank replied.
She said MPs would typically write to the Premier to lobby for projects in their electorate.
But, under this particular scheme, the allocation of funding was totally at the discretion of the Premier.
Mr Graham: "If there was a decision where the Premier was making an allocation and there was any sort of conflict, there would have had to have been a conflict of interest declaration?"
Ms Cruickshank: "I'm actually not clear on whether or not if that's a requirement for the Discretionary Fund, however I accept that does sound plausible."
Mr Graham: "Are you aware of any declaration of a conflict of interest at any time in your role as Chief of Staff, for example over the Badgerys Creek deal or any other (deal)?"
Ms Cruickshank: "No, I'm not."
Corrupt Jew…..but hey it's not the Jews