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Scully sacked after too many mistakes: NSW Pr -

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Reporter: Simon Santo

New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma says he sacked Carl Scully as Police Minister after he made
one mistake too many.


TONY JONES: The NSW Premier, Morris Iemma, has tonight sacked his controversial and increasingly
unpopular Police Minister, Carl Scully, for twice misleading Parliament in the space of a week. Mr
Scully had become entangled in the damaging fallout from two reports into last year's Cronulla
riots in southern Sydney. The sacking brings to an end the political career of a man who, only a
year ago, aspired to succeed Bob Carr as Premier. NSW State Political Reporter, Simon Santo, has
the story.

SIMON SANTO: It was an inglorious exit for a politician who played the game hard.

CARL SCULLY: Today I made a second error in the House in a period of two weeks. I believe the
community would find that unacceptable, and difficult to explain.

SIMON SANTO: But Carl Scully couldn't survive this time. The New South Wales Police Minister ran
into trouble when he tried to spin a damaging report into what went wrong in the Cronulla riots and
that even uglier aftermath. The riots, and then the revenge attacks, gripped Sydney for several
days last summer and led to an unprecedented policing crackdown and some soul searching over deep
and violent racial divisions. Mr Scully claimed in Parliament that the report hadn't been finished,
when it had, that he didn't know what was in it when he had been briefed, and he offended its
author, a 41-year veteran of the force, by saying it was deficient in parts.

CARL SCULLY: I held the line as long as I could before

SIMON SANTO: His boss, Morris Iemma, accepted a mea culpa and Mr Scully's explanation that his
choice of words could have been better. But today a question in Parliament brought a second
misleading answer.

ANDREW STONER: Given, last Monday week, you phoned the ABC TV newsroom claiming that night's
Channel Nine news item on your handling of the Cronulla report was untrue, that you now apologise
to the ABC and other media for lying about the report and your knowledge of it.

CARL SCULLY: Perhaps I could answer that question if Channel Nine can tell me who in my office rang
and at what point I rang and what I said. Maybe I could answer the question. You know that's not
true. You know it. Now you're wrong.

SIMON SANTO: A statement from the ABC, confirming the ministerial phone call, brought this
humiliating admission a short time later.

CARL SCULLY: In the face of the ABC newsroom insisting I made the call and with no means of proving
otherwise, I'll have to accept that I did actually make that call.

SIMON SANTO: Within the hour he had been called into the Premier's office.

CARL SCULLY: After discussion with him, I've tendered my resignation as Police Minister.

MORRIS IEMMA: It's, personally, a difficult decision. It's the right decision for the Government,
for the people and for the police force of New South Wales.

SIMON SANTO: With an election scheduled for March, the Iemma Government moved quickly to paper over
its problems. Transport Minister, John Watkins, has added police to his responsibilities, but will
get some assistance from Eric Ruttendall in the hard task of getting the buses, trains and ferries
to run on time. Carl Scully has not decided if he'll remain in Parliament on the backbench.

CARL SCULLY: It's been a great journey. See you later.

SIMON SANTO: Simon Santo, Lateline.