Topic: Joel Fitzgibbon

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Joel Andrew Fitzgibbon (born 16 January 1962) is an Australian politician and Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives since March 1996, representing the Division of Hunter in New South Wales. From December 2007 to June 2009 he was the Minister for Defence in the first Rudd Ministry. He resigned from cabinet in June 2009 after several scandals.

Fitzgibbon was born in Bellingen, New South Wales, and is the son of Eric Fitzgibbon who was MP for Hunter 1984–96. Before entering politics Fitzgibbon was an automotive electrician, electorate officer, part-time technical education lecturer and small business operator. He was a member of the Cessnock City Council in the period 1987–95.

Fitzgibbon was elected to the Opposition Shadow Ministry in October 1998 and was Shadow Minister for Mining, Energy and Forestry in 2003–05. In June 2005 he was appointed Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Revenue and for Small Business and Competition. In early December 2006, when Kevin Rudd became Leader of the Opposition, Fitzgibbon was appointed Shadow Minister for Defence. He was subsequently appointed Minister for Defence when Labor won office at the 2007 federal election.

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