The Greens’ candidate for the rural NSW seat of Parkes has resigned after his Facebook post questioning the events of the Port Arthur massacre resurfaced.
David Paull was set to represent the Greens at this Saturday’s federal election in the hopes of wrestling the safe Nationals seat away from MP Mark Coulton.
That changed after the The Australian reported on his old post yesterday, highlighting choice passages like “[Martin Bryant] didn’t do it and so a great crime on the Australian people was committed.”
The 1996 massacre, in which Bryant shot 35 people dead, has long been the target of conspiracy theories. Paull’s post echoed one of the most contemptuous theories surrounding the shooting: that the government was somehow involved.
“This crime was absolutely not necessary to bring in sensible gun reforms,” he wrote.
The Australian reports Paull initially denied being the author of the post, before admitting that yes, he did go ahead and lay that comment on a page dedicated to the Port Arthur conspiracy.
In subsequent communications with the paper, Paull said he was merely investigating the theories and commented on the page to “justify [his] presence in the group.”
In a statement obtained by The Guardian, a spokesperson for the NSW Greens said “David absolutely rejects the views he is quoted as supporting, but has stood down to not become a distraction from the important issues The Greens are focused on.”
But that statement reportedly came after an earlier comment from state campaign manager Andrew Blake, who said the party was satisfied with his explanation of the deeply incorrect comment.
More Stuff From PEDESTRIAN.TV