Election's first casualty

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Democratic Labor Party candidate for Lindsay, Phil Howarth, has withdrawn from the election.

Mr Howarth, who works as a postman, became aware that under the Australian Constitution he is not allowed to run for any Federal or State Government election due to his employment.

“I was informed by my employer that I would have to either quit or not run in the election because of a law that was written in 1901,” he said.

“I am so disappointed, I am still nearly in tears. The one thing I have wanted to do is represent people but now my hands are tied.”

Section 44 of the Australian Constitution states that: “Any person who holds any office of profit under the Crown, or any pension payable during the pleasure of the Crown out of any of the revenues of the Commonwealth shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives”.

Mr Howarth said that when faced with the extremely difficult decision, he had to choose his employment.

“I am paying off a mortgage and my wife works part time, I can’t afford to lose that income to run in the election,” he said.

“I was not going to get elected, but I wanted to have a go, to stir the pot a bit.”

He said that he had hoped to campaign on the Badgerys Creek airport but now is fearful that no-one will take up the cause.

“Both Liberal and Labor have said they are against the airport but I was going to stand for it, everyone who I meet is in favour of it,” he said.

Mr Howarth contested the Penrith Council election last year, and said that he will be looking to start up a branch of his party in Penrith in the near future so that he may help others get involved.

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