17 February 2023

Labor Monaro candidate Terry Campese withdraws from election race, cites media scrutiny

| Claire Fenwicke
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Former Canberra Raiders captain Terry Campese (second from left) with NSW Labor Leader Chris Minns and Labor Monaro Duty MLC Tara Moriarty in Queanbeyan when his candidacy was announced. Photo: Supplied.

Terry Campese has withdrawn as the Labor candidate for the seat of Monaro one month out from the NSW state election.

In a statement issued this morning (17 February), the high-profile candidate and former Canberra Raiders’ captain said he had never considered being a politician until he was approached late last year.

“Unfortunately I have also come to realise that, for some, politics is not about representing people but about their own power with a ‘win at all costs’ mentality,” Mr Campese said.

“Today I’m announcing that I will step down as Labor’s candidate. Not because my heart isn’t in it but because I love this community too much to drag it through the media – whether [allegations are] truthful or not.

“However, I will continue to serve my community in the same way I have over the last decade, through the work of my foundation and other charities.”

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Recent media reports from The Daily Telegraph have suggested Mr Campese visited friend and convicted drug dealer Adam Hunter – who was jailed over smuggling drugs inside an excavator to Bungendore – to raise funds for his charity and that party members had accused Labor of announcing him as the candidate before rank-and-file preselection had started.

He was also the subject of a complaint to the Labor head office over a sex-themed party he attended dressed as a ‘police officer’ in underwear.

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Mr Campese said he hoped things would change in the future and that more community members who put their hand up to be involved in politics.

“It’s clear we need a fresh start in NSW, and our communities do too,” he said.

“In the past couple of months, I have had great conversations with highly passionate people about a range of topics across the Monaro.

“I have also witnessed the incredible force of the Labor volunteers and members and I thank them for their time and support.”

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Greg Cameron9:51 am 18 Feb 23

Mr Campese was not authorised to say whether a Labor government will permit the 75 students now attending Bungendore High School in years 7 and 8 to continue their education next year at Bungendore High.

Will the next Labor candidate be authorised to tell parents of primary school students now in year six that their children will be able to commence high school education at Bungendore High in 2024 and thereafter? What is Labor’s Bungendore High School policy?

A shame, but the right call from the candidate. The scrutiny needs to be high before a candidate is selected. Do not think the party dress up was an issue but the other one seems to me to be very bad lapse of judgement.

What else did he think was going to happen! Did anyone in NSW labor bother to check all the skeletons in his closet?

As Truman said, “If you don’t like the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

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