Former Hunter MP’s son tragically dies during ADF training exercise

Former Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon’s son has tragically died after suffering fatal injuries during an Australian Defence Force training exercise.

Lance Corporal Jack Fitzgibbon was undertaking parachuting exercises, when he suffered head injuries, after his parachute failed to deploy properly at the RAAF Base in Richmond overnight.

Brigadier James Kidd spoke to the media on Thursday afternoon and read out a statement from Joel Fitzgibbon, a former defence minister.

“We are devastated and heartbroken by the loss of our wonderful Jack. Serving in the special forces was Jack’s dream job and we take comfort from the fact he died serving his nation in the uniform of the Australian Defence Force.

“Jack was a dedicated, highly skilled and courageous soldier. He was an experienced parachutist.

“Our lives will never be the same without Jack but we will always remain proud of him and his many achievements,” the statement read.

The incident occurred around 6:30pm on Wednesday, before Jack Fitzgibbon was treated at the scene and taken to hospital by NSW Ambulance.