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Joel Fitzgibbon does the right thing

And stands down as Defence minister [1].

The announcement has been confirmed with a released letter from Mr Fitzgibbon to the Prime Minister, which acknowledges that he is “not absolutely satisfied that I [ensured full] compliance with your Ministerial Code of Conduct.”

“I have decided to resign as a member of the Executive, effective, immediately.”

Yesterday Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said he was not happy about Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon’s failure to declare another gift.

Mr. Fitzgibbon’s failure to declare gifts in a timely manner, and his controversial relationship with Chinese businesswoman Helen Liu forced this outcome, and after what I said the other night [2] following Mr. Fitzgibbon’s latest late declaration of a gift, I’m pleased with the outcome.

[..]quite frankly if you aren’t capable of disclosing gifts, I fail to see how you can be considered competent enough to be the minister for defence[..]

I don’t want to take pleasure from the downfall of Mr. Fitzgibbon, rather from the fact that the right thing has been done, and the important role of Minister for Defence can now be handed to someone who won’t bring as much controversy, and will hopefully be more suitable for the job.