Antoniolli withdraws from race for state seat of Ipswich
IPSWICH councillor Andrew Antoniolli has withdrawn his nomination for the Labor pre-selection contest for the state seat of Ipswich to focus on the job he loves best.
Cr Antoniolli formally withdrew his nomination yesterday morning and told QT the main reason for his decision was the fulfilment he received from his role as a city councillor.
He said he just wasn't prepared to give that up.
Cr Antoniolli and wife Karina have five daughters aged between seven and 17.
He said their support had been a tower of strength in past months as he wrestled with what decision to make.
"Even though my wife has been supportive of whichever decision I took, it was something I had to be comfortable with," he said.
"I love the work that I do. I am passionate about the work that I do.
"There is so much yet to be achieved and I want to be involved in it.
"It is the grassroots touch that we have with the community that I really enjoy, and I think that is where my strengths are.
"The higher up the political ladder you go, the more at arm's lengths you are with the public.
"So as it got closer to the deadline for expressions of interest, I started to reflect on what I would be giving up by running for state (parliament) and whether my heart would be in it.
"It would have an enormous impact on my family, and I would have to give up so many of the activities that I am involved with and the groups that I am involved with here in Ipswich.
"And I just wasn't willing to do that at this stage."
Nominations for Labor pre-selections for the seat of Ipswich close at noon today.
QT understands that Labor Party stalwart Steve Axe and Plumbers Union Queensland's major projects organiser Jamie McQueen are among the candidates.
Others are expected to throw their hats into the ring by the deadline.
The seat of Ipswich is currently held by the LNP's Ian Berry.
Cr Antoniolli said the fact other quality candidates were putting their hands up for Labor pre-selection made his decision to withdraw easier.
"Initially I was a little concerned about whether there would be a lack of quality people putting their hand up but, as speculation started to mount over who would and wouldn't be nominating, it became clear that there would be quite a few quality nominations and that made the decision a little bit easier," Cr Antoniolli said.
"The amount of support I have received from the broader community saying 'go for it', and the way they have got behind me, made the decision not to run more difficult.
"I have had (Blair MP) Shayne Neumann and others throwing my name out there as being worthy of being a state parliamentarian, and that is very humbling.
"It has been great to get that sort of recognition."