The Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP was first elected to the House of Representatives in March of 1996.
During his more than 23 years as the Member for Hunter Mr Fitzgibbon has held a number of shadow ministerial positions including Mining, Energy & Forestry, Defence, Assistant Treasurer, Banking and Financial Services, Small Business and Competition, and Tourism. Most recently, Mr Fitzgibbon was Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and for Regional and Rural Australia.
In Government, Mr Fitzgibbon served as Minister for Defence and Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
He also served as Chief Government Whip and chaired the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade.
Mr Fitzgibbon is currently the Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Resources. Mr Fitzgibbon knows the agriculture, mining, oil and gas industries well and is determined to emphasise their importance to the national economy and the regional jobs they create. He is committed to developing a sound strategic plan to fully capitalise on growing global demand for our high quality exports.
Mr Fitzgibbon is also the founder of the Country Caucus, a group of Federal Labor MPs and Senators dedicated to promoting the interests of rural and regional Australia.
He is driven to champion issues of importance both to the Hunter and to other regional communities. Mr Fitzgibbon provides a strong voice for country people within the Labor shadow cabinet.
Mr Fitzgibbon lives in Cessnock in the Hunter Valley with his wife Dianne, who was elected a Cessnock City Councillor in 2016. They have three adult children.
The seat was first proclaimed in 1901 and was named after the second Governor of New South Wales, John Hunter (1737-1821).
Since 1901 only nine people have been elected to represent the seat of Hunter in the Federal Parliament. The first Member for Hunter was Sir Edmund Barton who served as Prime Minister between 1 January 1901 and 24 September 1903.
The 2016 New South Wales Federal Redistribution resulted in the disappearance of the Charlton electorate and the Hunter electorate gained most of the urban areas of the western shore of Lake Macquarie. It lost Maitland and Kurri Kurri to the re-drawn Paterson, towns north of Aberdeen including Scone to New England, and Kandos and Rylstone to Calare.
At the time of the last Federal Election in 2016, there were 113,469 electors enrolled to vote in an area of approximately 10 640 sq km.
The Hunter electorate includes the Muswellbrook Shire Council, Singleton Council, Cessnock City Council (part) and Lake Macquarie City Council (part). The main towns include Broke, Cessnock, Denman, Muswellbrook, Putty, Singleton, Toronto, Widden and Wyee.
Hunter also includes the New South Wales Legislative Assembly electorate of Cessnock, parts of Maitland, Wallsend and Lake Macquarie.
The main industries and products of the area include; Agriculture, coal-mining, dairy farming, engineering, farming, forestry, fruit and vegetables, horse studs and racing, timber milling, tourism, wine grapes, wineries and wool. Liddell and Bayswater Power Stations are also within the electorate.
For a detailed map of the electorate click here