Perhaps the tragedy of this highly regarded and competent premier of New South Wales was that, in the words of Malcom Turnbull, Gladys ’fell in love with wrong guy’.
Whatever the outcome of the ICAC hearings into Daryl Maguire and his questionable dealings in land rezoning and sales, Gladys Berejiklian cannot come out of this smelling of roses herself.
Intercepted phone conversation between Maguire and Gladys Berejiklian reveal that she was well aware of the deals Maguire was engaged in, and it does not make for easy reading.
The sadness is that Gladys Berejiklian has led New South Wales superbly during the fires and pandemic. New South Wales residents have felt proud of her leadership and polls have shown her to have a high degree of respect from the New South Wales public.
Unfortunately, the evidence of the phone intercepts of Maguire’s dealings showed clearly that she had inside knowledge of at least some of his deals, and actively and enthusiastically congratulated him on them.
Every politician or private individual has the right to their own private lives and partners, but where state matters coincide with personal relationships it all becomes murky.
The gender stereotyping of Gladys Berejiklian as’ love-sick to the point of witless’ (Lambert, 2020) is an insult to a smart, shrewd leader, and bears no reality to the woman Gladys Berejiklian is, and has shown herself to be during these past months.
Unfortunately this is a critical time for strong and transparent leaders as each state struggles with decisions related to the pandemic. It is not the time for people to be concentrating on leadership issues when the states need clear and careful guidance to steer them through this incredibly difficult time in peoples’ lives.
Whether we like to believe it or not, Gladys Berejiklian’s private life has encroached into her public life, and for that she may pay a heavy price, that of losing the leadership of her party in New South Wales. That would be a great disappointment for her many admirers.
Ref: Tara Lambert, Woman’s Agenda
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