“You have to seek approval from the Premier on these trips. That’s why we need ICAC to find out if she knew. She has serious questions she should answer under oath,” he said.
The Premier’s office declined a request for comment.
The fresh ICAC referral follows a four-week corruption inquiry earlier this year which examined whether Mr Maguire misused his position as an MP and parliamentary secretary for his own financial gain.
Documents, since obtained under a parliamentary order, show Mr Maguire sought approval from then-Premier Mike Baird for trips to Shanghai and New Zealand in 2014 and 2016.
However, the same could not be produced for trips he took to the South Pacific and Papua New Guinea in 2017 and 2018.
“When Gladys Berejiklian was Premier he didn’t apply for permission to travel. No documents have been returned to that effect,” Mr Latham said.
“It’s inconceivable his partner wouldn’t know that her boyfriend was overseas during that time period. She described it [to the ICAC] as a close personal relationship.”
In evidence to the commission in October Mr Maguire made admissions that he turned his Parliament House office into the part-time headquarters for a private business network he silently directed.
He also told the corruption inquiry he sought to use his position as chair of the NSW Parliament Asia-Pacific Friendship Group to obtain a personal profit, agreeing with counsel assisting the commission Scott Robertson that it was “quite wrong to do”.
Mr Maguire’s efforts included setting up meetings with consuls-general in the South Pacific in 2017, including in Samoa where he allegedly attempted to help develop a casino in Samoa.
The unsuccessful project was linked to the Shenzhen Asia Pacific Commercial Development Association, which the ICAC heard covered the cost of Mr Maguire’s travel expenses on the South Pacific trip in 2017, including daily living expenses. Mr Maguire was also chair of the organisation at the time.
Mr Latham said he would also ask the ICAC to examine whether Ms Berejiklian knew the trip had been covered by a commercial entity, which breached ministerial guidelines.
Key witnesses in the inquiry, including Ms Berejiklian and Mr Maguire, were originally set to learn what findings the counsel assisting the commission believed could be made earlier this month.
However, the ICAC announced the notifications of its potential findings would be delayed in light of “further investigative steps” needed as part of the inquiry into Mr Maguire.
Lucy Cormack is a state political reporter with The
Sydney Morning Herald.