It is always a pleasure to meet with the pupils from local schools and last week was a busy week with 6 Hunter schools visiting Parliament House.  Students from Singleton Heights, Milbrodale and Broke Public schools were among those who, as always, tested my knowledge on Parliamentary procedure and showed their enthusiasm for our democracy.  The future of our country is in good hands.

The global refugee crisis has been thrust into our lounge rooms with very graphic images of people fleeing conflict and persecution.

Australia’s response has been swift and compassionate but this will be an issue not easily resolved and will require unprecedented global cooperation. 

Labor will continue to work closely with the Government to ensure outcomes that meet our international obligations and are in line with public expectation.

Labor’s decision to support the limited extension of Australian air operations into Syrian air space was not taken lightly.  But you cannot effectively help the Iraqi Government and its people under rules which prevent you from operating across borders which mean little and are not respected by your enemy.  If we are going to send our people into harm’s way, we must give them all the tools they need to meet with success.

Nominations for the 2016 Youth People’s Advisory Committee are now open!

Nominations are being sought to form the 2016 Youth Week in NSW Young People’s Advisory Committee (YPAC). The YPAC is responsible for providing advice on the management and operation of Youth Week 2016 in NSW.

Becoming a member of the YPAC is an opportunity for young people who have been part of planning or organising Youth Week events and activities in their local community, to have their say on how Youth Week is run at a state level.

It is open to young members who come from a diversity of geographically, cultural and life experiences which are broadly representative of the diversity of young people in NSW.  Young people from metropolitan, regional and rural areas; young men and women; young aboriginal people; young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; and young people with experience in working on Youth Week events and activities are being sought.

Information and application forms for membership of the Young People’s Advisory Committee are attached and can also be found on the Youth Week website at

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 or you can even sign up to my E-Newsletter.

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

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