Belinda Neal

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Belinda Neal
Senator for New South Wales
In office
8 March 1994 – 3 September 1998
Preceded by Kerry Sibraa
Succeeded by Steve Hutchins
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Robertson
In office
24 November 2007 – 19 July 2010
Preceded by Jim Lloyd
Succeeded by Deborah O'Neill
Personal details
Born (1963-01-10) 10 January 1963 (age 53)
Nationality Australian
Political party Labor
Spouse(s) John Della Bosca
Children Two
Residence Phegans Bay, NSW
Alma mater University of Sydney
Profession Lawyer
Website ALP web page

Belinda Jane Neal (born 10 January 1963), a former Australian federal politician, was a Member of the House of Representatives representing the electorate of Robertson between 2007 and 2010; and representing the state of New South Wales in the Senate from 1994 to 1998, both of behalf of the Australian Labor Party.

Political career[edit]

She was a senator for New South Wales from 1994 to 1998. She was chosen on 8 March 1994 under s.15 of the Constitution to fill the casual vacancy in the Senate created by the resignation of Kerry Sibraa. She resigned on 3 September 1998 to contest the House of Representatives seat of Robertson at the 1998 general election in which she was defeated by the incumbent, Jim Lloyd of the Liberal Party.

In the 2007 federal election she was again preselected as the Labor candidate for Robertson, and won the seat in a very tight contest, claiming victory on 5 December.[1]

During her term as Member Belinda Neal was successful in securing a public Cancer Treatment Centre at Gosford Hospital which was announced by Minister for health, Nicola Roxan and Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd in 2010. The campaign was supported by a petition of over 22000 signatures that was presented to the Federal parliament. During her three-year term the electorate also received substantial funds for infrastructure including duplication of the freight lime from Sydney to Gosford, construction of the 'missing link' pipeline between Gosford and Wyong, reconstruction of the waters edge from Ettalong to Erina with the associated bike path which has become a popular waking and recreation trail.

she was also instrumental in bringing the Central Coast Mariners to the coast and was a foundation member of the board. The team has subsequently become an icon of the coast.

She lost preselection for the seat of Robertson on 6 March 2010, to challenger Deborah O'Neill.[2][3] Who lost the seat in the following election. On 29 July 2010 Neal announced that she would not recontest the seat at the 2010 federal election, but did not rule out a future in politics, saying that the Labor Party still had her full support.[4] Her husband, John Della Bosca, announced on the same day that he was resigning from the New South Wales Legislative Council to become a campaign director for the National Disability and Carers Alliance, and assist in the establishment of a national disability insurance scheme.[5]

Claims Regarding Incident at Iguana Joe's[edit]

"In June 2008, Neal and her husband John Della Bosca were dining in a bistro called Iguana Joe's. It was alleged that an incident took place at the venue between Della Bosca, Belinda Neal and the staff of the premises.".[6][7][8] This was never substantiated. The venue subsequently closed down amongst high incidences of violence surrounding it. The Premier of New South Wales, Morris Iemma, asked the New South Wales Police Force to start an investigation into his Minister. The false claims of offences being committed were provided to News Limited by Chris Spence, Liberal member for The Entrance.The police sought advice from the New South Wales Director of Public Prosecutions whether any crime was committed from the facts. The DPP advised that nothing that occurred constituted a crime.[9] On 3 September 2008, the DPP declined to pursue the matter, finding there was "insufficient evidence to support any criminal charge against New South Wales law".[10]

Deborah O'Neill went on to succeed Neal in Robertson at the 2010 election but lost the seat at the 2013 election to Liberal Lucy Wicks. Shortly after losing Robertson, O'Neill returned to Parliament as a Senator.

In 2015 Neal attempted a comeback to Robertson but was defeated in the ALP preselection by Ann Charlton who was chief of staff to the woman who ousted Neal from Robertson in the first place, Senator O'Neill.

Comment to Sophie Mirabella[edit]

A fortnight before the Iguana Joe's incident, Neal had apologised to a Liberal MP, Sophie Mirabella, over a partially disputed comment to the effect that Mirabella's unborn child would be affected by her sour demeanour as a result of Mirabella's "evil thoughts".


  1. ^ "Labor takes seat of Robertson". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 5 December 2007. Archived from the original on 7 December 2007. Retrieved 7 December 2007. 
  2. ^ "Neal loses preselection challenge". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 8 March 2010. Retrieved 6 March 2010. 
  3. ^ Morello, Vincent (7 March 2010). "Belinda Neal dumped from Central Coast seat in landslide pre-selection vote". News Limited. Archived from the original on 7 March 2010. Retrieved 7 March 2010. 
  4. ^ "I won't stand as independent in Robertson: Belinda Neal". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. 29 July 2010. Archived from the original on 1 August 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  5. ^ "Della Bosca confirms he's quitting". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. 29 July 2010. Archived from the original on 1 August 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  6. ^ "Club offers apology after NSW MP flags legal action". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. 8 June 2008. Retrieved 8 June 2008. 
  7. ^ "'She spat in my face': Iguana Joe's manager speaks out". 1 July 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2008. 
  8. ^ Hall, Louise (8 June 2008). "Della Bosca and MP wife in scrap with restaurant". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. 
  9. ^ Lawrence, Kara (10 July 2008). "Police send Iguanas case against Neal, Della to DPP". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 July 2008. 
  10. ^ Welch, Dylan (3 September 2008). "Iguanas affair: Neal and Della off the hook". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 5 September 2008. Retrieved 3 September 2008. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Jim Lloyd
Member for Robertson
Succeeded by
Deborah O'Neill