Joel Fitzgibbon hasn’t just been skating on thin ice: he’s been hosting rave parties on it.

It seems Kevin Rudd has been left with little choice but to sack Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon after it emerged that a meeting had been organised in the Defence Minister’s office between defence officials, Mr Fitzgibbon’s brother Mark who is head of NIB and US insurance company Humana.

Joel Fitzgibbon's nine Defence Minister lives have run out

While no doubt the victim of some white anting by his own shambles of a Department, Fitzgibbon has proven himself to be one of the few genuine liabilities on the Rudd front bench and the Prime Minister should have done this months ago.

From the SAS pay debacle to the failure to disclose trips from Helen Liu (and let’s just put that relationship to the side for one moment) to recently failing to disclose accommodation paid for by his brother’s company, Fitzgibbon’s mistakes have been a bad smell in the corner of the room for Rudd.

This is also the in the middle of what we are told is the biggest defence build-up in decades.

The Punch inquired with Fitzgibbon’s office at about 7 this morning but was told that that Fitzgibbon would be staying firmly put, not resigning, no way not today.

But after being called into Rudd’s office not long after he was told it’s time to go Joel.

In reality though the mind of the Prime Minister to oust Fitzgibbon was made pretty well made up last night.

In his resignation later Fitzgibbon says he has “learned” that a meeting between the three parties took place in his office.

“I have learned that one meeting between the parties was held in my ministerial office. Further, I understand that members of my staff sat in on a number of meeting.”

Does he seriously want us to believe that he no prior knowledge of a meeting that took place in his own office with his own brother and members of his own department? What did they do, break into the office?

Fitzgibbon apparently can’t get his story straight even when he’s resigning. At least he’s not Kevin Rudd’s problem anymore.


Most commented


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    • Wally Walnut says:

      05:01pm | 04/06/09

      Lose your obvious bias and you might make a good journo one day

    • Kevin of southbank says:

      05:07pm | 04/06/09

      “Fitzgibbon has proven himself to be one of the few genuine liabilities on the Rudd front bench”

      The other could include Swan, Conroy, Garrett. The only success has been Tanner.

    • Manik says:

      06:20pm | 04/06/09

      leo - Kevin didn’t sack Joel…he resigned…if you read they have the whole story…just cut and paste!

    • Rod says:

      07:25pm | 04/06/09

      Joel had to go. The fact he had no support from the right and was a political liability with the ‘madame’ liu saga meant that the NIB mistake was the last straw. I am sure Rudd wanted to be pumped up for a few more months talking up his unsustainable Defence White Paper capability development plan, and anything that took the attention away from the big plans was an unwanted distraction.
      I am assuming that as Rudd was happy to veto an Ambassador role based on the lack of fluency in the German language, he will also veto any prospective Defence Minister who is not fluent in the language of spin (and not able to disclose any sensitive problems when they occur and not several months later!)

    • Jim says:

      10:44pm | 04/06/09

      When does Leo announce his Liberal Party preselection bid?

    • iwrenchi says:

      10:49pm | 04/06/09

      Joel your real bosses in Beijing will be none to pleased with you losing your job, looks like they have lost their inside man, never mind they still have Rudd.

    • Angelina says:

      09:33am | 05/06/09

      So who should take over from Fitzgibbon as defense minister?


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