By: Crystal Wu
Former New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has been granted approval for a taxpayer-funded legal team worth at least $10,000 a day for her Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) battle.
The ICAC is holding its third day of public hearings into whether the former Premier breached public trust while in a secret relationship with former Liberal MP Daryl Maguire.
Ms Berejiklian is being represented by five lawyers at the ICAC hearings, and under the grant, each senior counsel can claim up to $5,000 per day in fees under the taxpayer-funded scheme.
But Ms Berejiklian could still face significant out-of-pocket costs.
As of August 1 2020, the maximum rates set by the Attorney General for legal representation are:
Solicitor – $295 per hour with a daily maximum of $2,950 plus GST
Junior Counsel – $295 per hour with a daily maximum of $2,212.50 plus GST
Senior Counsel – $488 per hour with a daily maximum of $4,880 plus GST
The ICAC is holding its third day of public hearings on Wednesday and will hear evidence from former NSW Premier Mike Baird along with former Director of Strategy Nigel Blunden.
Mr Baird was Premier in 2016 when the NSW government was awarded a $5.5 million grant into the Australian Clay Target Association, a gun club in the Wagga Wagga electorate.
Gladys Berejiklian was the NSW Treasurer at the time of the grant and was in a relationship with then-Wagga Wagga Liberal MP Daryl Maguire.
The hearing began on Monday and is expected to last for approximately 10 days.