Desperate National Party candidate reaches for the mud-bucket | Rob Oakeshott | Independent for Cowper

National Party candidate for Cowper, Pat Conaghan, has swiftly abandoned his much-vaunted "taekwondo" values and resorted to smearing and lying advertisements as the pressure of being in a real electoral contest hits home.

"To reach for the mud-bucket reflects the candidate. After introducing himself a little while back as a man who was guided by the tenets of taekwondo the Sydney lawyer has now approved attack ads that are not just negative and petty, but blatantly false," said Mr Oakeshott.

"Just last month Pat Conaghan told Focus magazine that he values taekwondo tenets like "courtesy", "integrity" and "self-control". Those values, clearly, didn't last long."

"In the final campaign week, we're seeing less of the zen-master and more of the crazy hands of a temper tantrum from someone who thinks he’s entitled to the seat. A good old-fashioned National Party dummy-spit, really," Oakeshott said.

"Our campaign has stayed positive. Australians need Parliament to be a more decent place and we need to lift the level of public discourse. This is a message that has resonated strongly with voters in the dozens and dozens of public meetings I've attended all around the electorate in the last few months," Oakeshott said.

"Perhaps if the Nationals candidate wasn't so selective about his public appearances he might be more attuned to the public mood. His party's nasty and negative ads on television, online and in leaflet form stand in stark contrast to what he says he believes in and what I believe voters want from their representatives in Parliament.

What makes it even more indecent is the amount of money being spent by the National Party on this relentless smear campaign," said Oakeshott.

For the record, I have not failed medicine, I don’t receive any different parliamentary pay conditions from anyone else, and I have been working as a contractor to the United Nations Development Program for the past six years to help run our family home.

I invite the National Party candidate to tell us where he has parked his declared values while his paid advertising slings mud in the final week of the campaign," Oakeshott said.

For further details, please contact Deb Spillane


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