Berejiklian digs in for another tough week

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has denied ever giving former MP Daryl Maguire favourable treatment.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has denied ever giving former MP Daryl Maguire favourable treatment.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has made it clear she is prepared to tough it out to keep her job as she prepares for what's sure to be another gruelling parliamentary sitting week.

It's a week since she revealed at the Independent Commission Against Corruption that until recently she'd been in a secret "close personal relationship" with disgraced former Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire since 2015.

Mr Maguire has since made numerous frank admissions about using his public office to seek personal financial gain and being involved in a lucrative cash-for-visas scam.

The association has been devastating for the premier who has endured a torrent of damaging headlines with the scrutiny taking a personal and professional toll and leading to widespread speculation her leadership is terminal.

On the weekend, three top ministers: Stuart Ayers, Mark Speakman and Victor Dominello buoyed her position by rallying behind her and on Monday she emerged to staunchly defend herself.

While admitting to private tears and feeling shocked, devastated and embarrassed, she made it clear she would not be throwing in the towel.

"There is absolutely no accusation of wrongdoing against me," she told reporters.

She also tried to explain the romance that shocked colleagues and the public, admitting it was "excruciating" to talk about.

Although she was in love with him "it wasn't a normal relationship ... he wasn't my boyfriend, it wasn't anything of substance ... I certainly hoped it would be".

"Irrespective of how I felt we led completely separate lives," she said,

She denied any knowledge of his dodgy deals, saying she wasn't interested and that she often got lobbied by MPs over issues in their electorate and had showed no favouritism to Mr Maguire.

"I did nothing. Absolutely zilch," she told Sydney radio 2GB.

"I think a lot of my colleagues have been shocked as well because a lot of us knew him over a long period of time and none of us picked up on the extent of what he was up to," Ms Berejikilian said.

"We thought he was someone of honesty and integrity."

She said she could not remember a phone call that was played at the ICAC when Mr Maguire was talking to her about a potential land deal he was involved in, and she responded that she didn't "need to know about that bit".

"I probably wasn't paying attention and listening properly ... or I dismissed it because I thought that's his business and it's got nothing to do with me.

"It did not cross my mind that there was anything untoward," she said.

Her first reaction to the matters revealed at ICAC hearings was "shock and disgust" but she said she had yet to process the hurt and pain of their failed personal relationship.

"Have I stuffed up in my personal life? Absolutely? Am I devastated by what's happened? Absolutely.

"Am I embarrassed and and do I accept that people will cast judgement? Of course. But my job is my job and I will keep doing it," she said.

After pursuing two failed motions of no confidence last week the opposition is set to resume hostilities in parliament on Tuesday.

"This Premier is playing with words," Labor leader Jodi McKay tweeted.

"When you're in that role, you should disclose ANY relationship that presents a conflict. She sat around the cabinet table discussing the very issues she knew he was involved in and she said nothing."

Australian Associated Press