In Episode 50, “Perfect or Possible”, Blenheim Partners’ Gregory Robinson speaks to The Hon Joel Fitzgibbon MP, Member for Hunter, Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Resources and member of the Australian Labor Party. After being elected in 1996, Joel has represented his electorate for the last 24 years. He was previously Minister for Defence and Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. He has also served as Chief Government Whip and Chaired the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence & Trade.

The son of former Member of Parliament Eric Fitzgibbon, Joel shares with us his upbringing and how the principle of equality of opportunity was instilled in him and continues to drive him to this very day. He gives us a unique look into the life of a politician, from its rigorous demands to the satisfaction derived in serving the people that put their faith in him. He also talks about the current state of the Labor party; its leadership, the challenges in finding the right balance and how they can once again form Government, with Joel having spent 18 of his 24 years in Parliament in the opposition.

In a fast-paced discussion, Joel offers his frank views on the important issues we face as a nation, from climate, energy and industry debates, the pragmatism and possible compromise required in transitioning to renewable energy and the reality facing his constituents in the broader conversation about Australia’s relationship with China. He also calls on the business community to step up and demand from the Government the policy reforms needed for Australia to succeed . Lastly, Joel reminds us that in our capacity to drive change, we should never let the perfect get in the way of the possible.

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