TAMWORTH MP Kevin Anderson has sought to distance himself from any suggestions of inappropriate meetings with disgraced Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire.
Mr Maguire has resigned from the Liberal Party but has refused to give up his seat, in the wake of explosive evidence before the Independent Commission Against Corruption, which alleges he used his parliamentary position to broker property deals with a Chinese developer – however, the case remains before ICAC.
On Tuesday, Mr Anderson confirmed on May 8 last year, he and Mr Maguire witnessed the signing of a major Chinese export deal in Parliament House.
The deal was between UWE Commodities – an export agribusiness that owns the 6000-hectare Currabubula Station within Mr Anderson’s electorate – and Shanghai Haiquan Group, to provide beef exports and aged-care services.
The Leader is not accusing Mr Anderson or Mr Maguire of any wrong doing.
A spokesman for Mr Anderson said the meeting was arranged by Mr Maguire.
“Kevin Anderson was invited because Mr Maguire’s friend had a property in the Tamworth electorate,” the spokesman said.
“Under NSW Parliamentary guidelines, Kevin Anderson was not required to complete a disclosure form as this meeting was organised by Mr Maguire.”
Two months after the signing, Mr Anderson met with UWE Commodities director Jimmy Liu, who was also present at the signing, in his electorate office to discuss general information about Tamworth.
Mr Anderson also visited Currabubula Station in November 2016 with other local community representatives.
Photos show Mr Maguire receiving a gift from one of the businessmen in Parliament House following the signing ceremony.
However, Mr Anderson’s spokesperson said the Tamworth MP had not received any gifts from either UWE Commodities or Haiquan Group.
Mr Maguire could not be reached for comment, however the embattled MP took Facebook on Monday, posting a video, where he apologised for “breaching the very strict code of conduct” required of him.
“I won’t be re-nominating for election in 2019,” Mr Maguire said.
“These events have brought forward a decision that I’d already made not to contest the 2019 election.”
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