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NSW Education Minister stood down over nightc -

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NSW Education Minister stood down over nightclub altercation

Broadcast: 13/06/2008

Reporter: John Stewart

New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma has stood aside his Education Minister, John Della Bosca,
after an embarrassing row in a nightclub.


VIRGINIA TRIOLI: The New South Wales Premier has stood aside his Education Minister, John Della
Bosca, after an embarrassing row in a nightclub.

Last week, Mr Della Bosca and his wife, Federal MP Belinda Neal, were involved in an argument with
the nightclub's staff.

The club's management then sent a written apology to the Minister, but today it was revealed that
Mr Della Bosca himself wrote the apology.

John Stewart reports.

JOHN STEWART: The NSW Education Minister, John Della Bosca, is a key Labor power broker who dreamt
of becoming Premier. But today, his career took a spectacular dive.

MORRIS IEMMA, NSW PREMIER: For the sake of completeness and of detail I believe that this is a
matter now that does require him to stand aside from his ministerial duties.

JOHN STEWART: It all started here at this waterfront restaurant on the NSW Central Coast. Last
week, Mr Della Bosca and his wife, Federal Labor MP Belinda Neal were having dinner at Iguana Joe's
nightclub when they got into a row with the staff.

JOHN DELLA BOSCA, NSW EDUCATION MINISTER: This started as an argument about the movement of a table
in a bistro. The staff, we believed, were rude to our friends. We then complained to them.

JOHN STEWART: Security camera video shows the two Labor politicians speaking with the staff about
the incident.

After the stoush became front page news, Mr Della Bosca threatened to take legal action against the
nightclub's managers.

The club then issued a written apology to the Minister, which took the heat out of the controversy
for a few days.

MORRIS IEMMA: So, it's a fairly strong and unequivocal apology from a person who was there and the

JOHN STEWART: But today it was revealed that the Education Minister himself wrote the apology.

JOHN DELLA BOSCA: He asked me to send him the exact terms of that apology. He modified it and
signed it. They have taken responsibility for that apology. That is their business, not mine.

JOHN STEWART: The embarrassing revelation forced the NSW Premier to stand his Education Minister
down, while the police investigate all of the sworn statements made by both the nightclub's staff
and Mr Della Bosca's supporters.

BARRY O'FARRELL, NSW OPPOSITION LEADER: It was clear that if John Della Bosca mislead the
Parliament, the Premier wouldn't sack him. Now that he's mislead the Premier, Morris Iemma still
won't sack John Della Bosca.

JOHN STEWART: Despite intense pressure, the Premier has resisted calls to sack his Education

JOURNALIST: He has lied. Why don't you sack him?

MORRIS IEMMA: Well there's - the first point is there is an investigation into this matter. It's a
police investigation; they have commenced.

JOHN STEWART: Mr Della Bosca remains unapologetic.

JOHN DELLA BOSCA: I have done nothing wrong, nothing wrong.

JOHN STEWART: Earlier this week, the Prime Minister told Belinda Neal to get anger management
counselling after reports that the Iguana affair was the latest in a series of incidents.

KEVIN RUDD, PRIME MINISTER: There is - there appears to be - a pattern of unacceptable behaviour.

JOHN STEWART: John Della Bosca and Belinda Neal were once known as an ALP power couple, but the
lights are now dimming on the Labor pair.

John Stewart, Lateline.