Recently the Labor Opposition released a plan to restrict future negative gearing opportunities.  The policy would not affect any existing investments.  It would apply only to new investments after July 1, 2017.  Nor will it affect investments in new homes or units after July 1, 2017.  So no one with existing investments would be affected.

The policy has two objectives.  First, it is a savings measure which will free up money for health, education, roads and telecommunications.  Remember, seventy percent of the benefits of negative gearing goes to the highest ten percent of earners.

Second, it is designed to stimulate the construction of new housing which adds to the housing stock and gives young people a better chance of buying their first home.

Cyberbullying is an important concern for all schools and as a community we all have a role to play in helping children have safe and enjoyable experiences online.

The 2016 National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence will be held on Friday 18 March. This is a key anti-bullying event for schools and communities to help deliver the powerful message that violence and bullying will not be tolerated.

In support of the National Day of Action, the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner (www.esafety.gov.au) will be hosting free Virtual Classrooms—a series of interactive presentations to help students understand and manage cyberbullying and communicating online.

For more information about National Day of Action please visit www.bullyingnoway.gov.au

We all know what a scam is and many of my columns have included information about the latest one doing the rounds.  I cannot stress enough that if you are contacted by someone asking for money-do your homework.  The Local, State or Federal governments will never cold call you and ask for money and at the moment there are a number of scammers declaring they are calling representing a government department.  I also recommend that people re-register with the “do not call” register at https://www.donotcall.gov.au/ or call 1300 792 958.

The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) is providing communities across Australia and New Zealand with a chance to host the $175,000 18-carat gold Emirates Melbourne Cup trophy and racing identities in their towns and cities.

Tenders have opened for the 14th annual Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour, which will see the coveted trophy travel across Australia and New Zealand, bringing communities together in celebration of the 'People's Cup'.

Through this year's Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour the VRC will enable many more communities the
opportunity to be part of the Cup's rich cultural narrative in a very special way. The Cup truly uplifts communities wherever it goes.

To nominate a town or city visit www.melbournecuptour.com.au. All tender forms need to be completed online and before 5pm AEST Monday 11 April 2016.

Since 2003, the Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour has travelled more than 456,000 kilometres to 333 towns and cities, providing communities with a once-in-a-life opportunity to experience firsthand the magic of one of the world's greatest sporting events.


The CommBank Staff Community Fund is awarding $2 million in grants of up to $10,000 each to youth-focused organisations nationwide. If your organisation has Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status, you may be eligible to apply at commbank.com.au/grants before 28 March 2016.


I am always keen to assist with issues or questions relating to Federal Government departments or put you in contact with someone who can, so please ring, write, visit the website or call in.

Why not go the extra step by following me on my Facebook page “Joel Fitzgibbon” or on Twitter and type in the search bar “fitzhunter”. Or by regularly checking my website at www.joelfitzgibbon.com or you can even sign up to my E-Newsletter.

To contact the office, phone 1300 301 753, visit www.joelfitzgibbon.com or by post 3 Edward Street, (PO Box 526) Cessnock, 2325. 

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