What a start to the Parliamentary year!  Leadership challenges have become almost regular events but they remain fascinating.

I can’t see Tony Abbott making it to the next election, it’s too far gone for that.  There are only two questions now I believe.  The first is when and who?  The second is, will the new PM take us to an early election?

Last week was “Heywire” week in Canberra.  Like every year, 40 young Australians from rural and regional Australia gathered in Canberra to share their ideas about how to improve their local communities.   We were able to meet them and learn from them.

The ABC’s Heywire was first established in 1998 and has been an enormous success.  A highlight for entrants is the chance to secure an opportunity to have their story recorded in audio form and played on ABC radio.

I attended the annual dinner at which the winners and their stories were showcased.  It was evidence again that we have many very fine young Australians with some bright ideas about making their communities better places to live and work.

This year’s competition closes on September 16 and anyone interested in having a go should go to

Last week in Canberra I attended a breakfast held by Breast Cancer Network Australia.  The information session reminded us of the number of people affected and the importance of early detection. 

The Network is also keen to ensure people know about its free information kit for those who have been newly diagnosed.  The kit can be secured by phoning 1800 500 258

Do you know of – or work in – a business that deserves an Award as a great Australian business?

Small and medium businesses are the backbone of our economy, employing around 75 per cent of the Australian workforce.
The Telstra Australian Business Awards shine a light on these small and medium businesses from all parts of Australia, celebrating their inspirational achievements and aiming to help these businesses be the best they can be.

Nominating your favourite business for the 2015 Telstra Business Awards could mean the chance of a lifetime for them. For further information please visit

Each year in February Ovarian Cancer Australia runs a national Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month campaign to highlight the symptoms of ovarian cancer, to honour those women who have died from the disease, and to raise funds for their programs.

Each year 1,400 Australian women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and more than 1,000 will die from the disease.  That’s one woman every 8 hours. 

Ovarian cancer has the lowest survival rate of any women’s cancer and has a five year survival rate well below the average for all cancers.

For more information about ovarian cancer call 1300 660 334, visit

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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