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‘How did Daryl know?’: Transport for NSW outrage over leak to disgraced MP

The file note was created after a decision by Hong Kong developer Country Garden to splash out $85 million on the purchase of farmland at Cawdor, on the south-west outskirts of Sydney, in 2017.

Country Garden reportedly wrote to planning authorities in December 2017 lobbying for an interchange to be built because the new M9 motorway was anticipated “to pass through the north-east corner of the site”.

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However, the motorway route was not publicly unveiled until three months after the letter was written, prompting politicians to dub the company the “Nostradamus” of developers.

In July 2018, a month after the Daily Telegraph first revealed the letter, Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire was forced to quit the Liberal Party after he was recorded talking about receiving commissions from Country Garden in tapes played to the ICAC.

The following month Mr Raimond wrote a file note entitled “feedback from Clare 16 August”.

This appears to be a reference to a meeting with then Transport for NSW Deputy Secretary Clare Gardiner-Barnes, addressing the land deal at Cawdor.

“Chinese investor buying up land – who has been talking to who?” it reads. “What MPs being briefed, how did Daryll McGuire get that info (Wagga).”

The memo has come to light after One Nation MP Mark Latham called for documents relating to the Cawdor land sale to “solve the mystery of who gave Country Garden the inside information”.

In response to questions from the Herald on Monday, Country Garden, now known as Risland Australia, denied it was ever in possession of confidential information relating to the route of the M9 motorway.

“The company strongly rejects the assertion that Daryl Maguire had any involvement with the purchase of the site,” a Risland spokeswoman said.

“Risland relied upon publicly available plans on road routing in the area that were provided as exhibits by Transport for NSW in 2015.

“These provided indicative only plans for the M9 Orbital.”

Transport for NSW initially withheld the file note when it tabled a trove of documents to Parliament last year, on the grounds it contained “commercial in confidence” details and “personal information”.

Parliament’s independent arbiter Keith Mason, QC, was scathing of those reasons when he ordered the document’s release in January, accusing Transport for NSW of “failing to engage with reality”.

He added that the reference to Daryl Maguire in the file note “may speak for itself”.

The latest revelation comes after Mr Maguire has been referred to the Independent Commission Against Corruption by Mr Latham for not getting approval from Premier Gladys Berejiklian to travel overseas while he was in a secret relationship with her.

Mark Latham (right) has referred former MP Daryl Maguire (left) to the ICAC over not seeking travel approval from Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

Mark Latham (right) has referred former MP Daryl Maguire (left) to the ICAC over not seeking travel approval from Premier Gladys Berejiklian.Credit:Rhett Wyman, Nick Moir, Getty Images

The ICAC referral followed a four-week corruption inquiry in 2020 that 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 that Mr Maguire sought approval from then-premier Mike Baird for trips to Shanghai and New Zealand in 2014 and 2016.

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