Liberal Party endorses John Fitzgibbon

A date for the Federal election hasn’t even been announced, but a slanging match has already started between the Ballarat candidates.

On Monday, media identity John Fitzgibbon was officially endorsed as the Liberal Party candidate for the Federal seat of Ballarat.

He used his first media release to attack Ballarat MP Catherine King and the Labor Party.

“Catherine King and Labor have stopped listening to our communities,” he said.

“The Federal Coalition team that I am proud to be part of is listening and acting on the concerns of those millions of Australians betrayed by Labor.”

In that same media release, Mr Fitzgibbon said the Liberal Party had worked with the community on many significant community projects over the years. 

“I know the importance of working with our communities to make good things happen and the need to again have a strong local voice in Parliament,” he said.

Yesterday Ms King pointed out that exact same quote was attributed to the Bendigo Liberal Party candidate in September.

She said it was an embarrassing start for Mr Fitzgibbon.

“Ballarat and Bendigo are more than 100km apart and you would think the Liberal Candidate for Ballarat would have more to contribute in his first public statement than regurgitating quotes from the Liberal Candidate for Bendigo,” Ms King said. 

“If the Liberal Candidate for Ballarat cannot speak for himself, how can local families expect him to speak for them,” Ms King said. 

Ms King said she was proud of her record and that Ballarat received “barely a trickle” of funding under the Howard Government.

Liberal patron senator for Ballarat, Senator Michael Ronaldson, said Mr Fitzgibbon, 39, was an active member of the community and a good candidate for Ballarat.

“John’s unselfish work with so many local organisations and events demonstrates a great strength in service to others and a dedication to work for the betterment of local communities,” he said.

John Fitzgibbon with Premier Ted Baillieu in Ballarat last year. PICTURE: JEREMY BANNISTER

John Fitzgibbon with Premier Ted Baillieu in Ballarat last year. PICTURE: JEREMY BANNISTER