I rarely have any luck fitting the Jungle Juice Cup into my diary and sadly, last week's event was no exception.
But while I was left to lament my absence others had plenty to smile about. Chief amongst them were Robert Thompson and trainer Jeremy Sylvester who with Youthful King claimed their 11th and 8th Cup when respectively.
Also smiling was the large locals who have a stake in winner Snappy One, another Jeremy Sylvester trained future champion! Congratulations to all our local champions.
The Westminster system of government affords Barnaby Joyce only two options; back the Governments decision on the Shenhua coal mine or resign from the Cabinet.
The Agriculture Minister has already made his position clear on the project so only one option remains; resignation.
This position is also supported by Senator Abetz who has publicly stated that if you're a frontbencher and you cannot agree with policy, that you should resign.
It is good advice for Barnaby. With Tony Windsor snapping at his heels in New England, the Nationals Deputy Leaders only chance of re-building support and credibility in his local communities is to resign.
His problems are compounded by his recent ABC radio comments where he said that he was agnostic about whether the mine is in his electorate or not.
His credibility is also in doubt following his decision to invite Environment Minister and decision-maker Greg Hunt to the proposed mine site just days before the NSW election to announce he was stopping the clock on the project.
Barnaby Joyce is receiving an additional $141,469.25 salary annually to sit in Cabinet. By his own account, the Minister is from a wealthy family. He can afford to act on his criticism of his own colleagues.
Resignation is Barnaby Joyces only change of political survival.
Its tax time again and many of you will be poring over your yearly accounts wondering whether you should save some money and do your own tax return.
If this is you, make sure you are aware of any changes that have occurred to tax rules since your last claim. Dont assume that something you claimed last year will be claimable again this year. Changes this year include the removal of the mature age worker and the dependent spouse tax offsets, and further changes to the net medical expenses tax offset.
My office has a small supply of paper tax returns available for readers. For more information log on to the ATO website at www.ato.gov.au/individuals/lodging-your-tax-return.
Multicultural NSW is pleased to announce the opening of the first round of 2015-16 Multicultural NSW Grants Program Celebration.
Celebration Grants of up to $5,000 are available for events and festivals that bring communities together, showcase the benefits of cultural diversity and promote social cohesion and community harmony. Celebration Grants open three times per year and are open to community organisations and Local Councils.
Further details including eligibility criteria, closing date and application forms can be found on the Multicultural NSW website: www.multicultural.nsw.gov.au/grants .
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.