Poor judgement is not a rare thing in politics.
But the Turnbull government's decision to oppose a Royal Commission into the banks and the financial services sector was a doozy.
Government members voted against a Royal Commission in the House of Representatives no less than 24 times.
They claimed it would be an expensive and time-wasting exercise.
None of us realised how much scandal the inquiry would expose and it's far from over yet. But adding to the Government's woes is the revelation that its proposed tax cut for big corporations and Australia's top income earners would provide the big four banks with a $13.2 billion windfall over the next ten years.
We already knew the tax cut was the wrong priority but surely the government must now reconsider its position. More money for schools, education and infrastructure (the Muswellbrook and Singleton by-passes would be a good start) is looking more like a good idea every day.
Throughout 2017 we continued to commemorate the Centenary of ANZAC and the courage, deeds and sacrifices of our troops during WWI. During 2018 we will continue to commemorate the Centenary of a number of important events including those battles fought in the air, the breaking of the Hindenburg Line, the arrival of the Americans, and of course, the Armistice.
I always look forward to joining our Veterans and Sub Branch Members on ANZAC Day as we solemnly mark these special events in the history of our Nation. As we do so, we will remember those currently serving.
I thank all those who work hard to keep the memories alive and to assist those still suffering the effects of war.
Lest We Forget.
In the Hunter electorate we're fortunate to have thousands of people who selflessly contribute their time and effort to make our community a better place.
In conjunction with National Volunteers Week, I'm hosting a special Hunter Volunteer Award event to give local volunteers the recognition they deserve.
*** NOMINATIONS are now officially open for the Volunteer Awards and I'm calling for community members to put forward individuals they believe deserve recognition for their contribution as a volunteer. Nominations close Monday, May 21. My office will then host a Volunteer Award presentation event on June 6. Visit www.joelfitzgibbon.com/volunteer_awards to submit a nomination.
This article was published in the Hunter Valley News on 25 April 2018.