Pro-Coal Labor Party MP Joel Fitzgibbon Retires 25 Years Later


Australian Labor Party (ALP) MP Joel Fitzgibbon confirmed on Monday that he would not seek re-election of the New South Wales (NSW) Hunter seat in the next federal election.

Fitzgibbon entered the House of Representatives in 1996, when Liberal Party John Howard was elected prime minister and held his constituency for 25 years.

He took over from his father Eric Fitzgibbon, who was a hunter MP from 1984 to 1996.

“It’s a difficult decision, but I’m happy with it. I’m not a candidate for the next federal election,” Fitzgibbon told Sevens Sunrise.

“I am very happy and happy to leave. I am very proud of my work over the last 25 years, both locally, domestically and internationally.

“I am now confident that Labor can win the next election under the leadership of Anthony Albanese.”

Formerly a very supporter of coal, Fitzgibbon said the Labor Party would not convince voters in coal mining areas to protect employment, especially as investment in renewable energy continues to demand. He warned that he would lose the next federal election.

Epoch Times Photo
Opposition leader Anthony Albanese (left) arrives with opposition Agriculture Minister Joel Fitzgibbon during the opening of the House of Representatives of the Houses of Parliament in Canberra, Australia on June 18, 2020. (Sam Mooy / Getty Images)

In recent years, ALP has struggled to balance the traditional blue-collar voting-based needs of working in the resource and manufacturing industry with the new urban voting-based needs to support more action on climate change and emission reductions. I am.

Fitzgibbon said he had been thinking of retiring since the 2019 election and said he was convinced that the party would “return to the center” by removing “crazy policies” from the ALP.

“I knew that if I worked hard on it, the workers would look at common sense and return to those who were traditionally represented,” he said.

“Anthony Albanese has abolished all the crazy tax policies adopted in the last election. He promises to implement statutory tax cuts for all Australians. He goes to the mines. We’ve talked about our support for this sector … we’re in a good position. “

Despite previous disagreements on climate policy, Fitzgibbon told ABC Radio that he had been in close cooperation with Albanese in the last two and a half years.

“I urged him to return to the center ground. I urged him to focus on what really matters to the working people,” he said.

“I think he has a very good balance. As a result, I think he is in a good position to lead us to victory in the election.”

Epoch Times Photo
Barnaby Joyce and Joel Fitzgibbon during a question time in the House of Representatives of the Houses of Parliament in Canberra, Australia, June 3, 2021. (Sam Mooy / Getty Images)

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce thanked Fitzgibbon voters and their contributions to Australia during their term.

We wish you all the best of luck. You represent what the Labor Party should be, “Joyce said in an interview with Seven. “I will buy beer in Canberra.”

Epoch Times Sydney Staff