Joel’s gone: about time
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.
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.
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