Former Labor candidate for Polwarth slams ALP hierachy

A LABOR contender for the Polwarth electorate has torn up his party membership even though he was the endorsed ALP candidate less than three months ago.

Former ALP Polwarth candidate Joe Brown.

Former ALP Polwarth candidate Joe Brown.

Former firefighter Joe Brown was expected to challenge Transport Minister Terry Mulder for the Coalition-held seat until he chose to step down in June, leaving the electorate without a Labor candidate.

Mr Brown, who has consistently declined to be interviewed, claimed on social media he was ignored by Labor party state administration. 

“To find out that I was nothing more than a mouthpiece for city politicians to help spread their rhetoric, I became disheartened,” Mr Brown wrote on Twitter.

“I wasn’t sure of what I could and couldn’t say or if I was allowed to have a personal view. The simple answer is no.”

Mr Brown wrote numerous Twitter messages to explain his decision to step down as the Polwarth Labor candidate, acknowledging that his candour would likely spoil his chances of a future political career.

“My decision now to resign as a member of the ALP is based solely on how I have been treated by head office,” he wrote on social media.

“I love the Labor party and what it stands for but until they get real and get rid of the people holding them back, I’m done (with dealing with them).”

Mr Brown also implied Labor party headquarters were not interested in making funding commitments to the blue-ribbon seat, held by the Coalition on a whopping 13 per cent margin.

“I asked about funding for the electorate,” he wrote. “I wanted to get out and get known in the electorate and make some announcements. No funding.”

Mr Brown first came to public attention two years ago after Parks Victoria decided not to rehire the contract firefighter only months after he was badly injured in a fuel reduction burn.

He wrote that he developed post-traumatic stress disorder following the injuries. He also wrote about his initial contact with Labor MPs regarding his alleged mistreatment by Parks Victoria.

Support from state opposition figures led him to send an email to ALP state administration, offering his services as a volunteer for the Polwarth Labor candidate. 

A Labor party administrative spokesman declined to respond to Mr Brown’s comments.

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