From stacking shelves at Woolies… to the halls of power? Why Scott Morrison’s team picked a baby-faced 21-year-old candidate to run for Parliament – even though he’s barely out of school
- John Goody, 21, running for the Liberal Party in the Barton seat in Sydney
- He’s a local boy who works for the employment agency Employsure
- Mr Goody takes on Labor frontbencher Linda Burney in the safe Labor seat
Fresh out of high school and working a part-time job at his local Woolworths – and now this 21-year-old is Scott Morrison’s choice to run for a seat in south Sydney.
John Goody is challenging Labor front-bencher Linda Burney, 65, for the electorate of Barton, where he grew up, an area that folds into suburbs from Banksia to Wolli Creek.
Mr Goody would be a breakthrough candidate as he is three decades younger than the average age of an Australian MP, which is 51.
The young man, pictured with braces in a recent photo, worked part-time at Woolworths before accepting a full-time job as an administrative assistant for employment agency Employsure last year.
John Goody (pictured) challenges Labor frontbenger Linda Burney, 65, for the Barton constituency in Sydney, where he grew up
Ms Burney (pictured) said: “I’m always delighted to see people raise their hand to represent their community.”
The Liberal Party website states that Mr Goody’s work experience means he “knows from experience how important a strong economy is for job creation.’
His side adds: “As part of the Morrison Liberal team, John will work to create a strong economy and a stronger future for Barton and will fight to improve local roads and transport and ensure our community has access to world class hospitals and healthcare.”
However, Mr Goody’s campaign appears to have had little traction with only two people liking his Facebook page.
One person commented, “Is this candidate old enough to vote?” and others said, ‘Yes, like putting my future in his hands with his lifetime of experience!’
Mr Goody has a mountain to climb to be elected, with Ms Burney holding the seat by a nine per cent margin.
The voters have been Labor since 1983, with the exception of three years between 2013 and 2016, and are considered so safe that Sportsbet does not take bets on them.
A 21-year-old former Woolworths worker (pictured) is running as the Liberal candidate for a secure Labor seat
Ms Burney said: “I’m always delighted to see people raise their hands to represent their community.
“It gives the community the opportunity to choose who they feel has the best experience and qualifications to represent them.”
Mr Goody would not be the youngest MP ever if he wins. Liberal Wyatt Roy won Queensland’s longman in 2010 at the age of 20 and held it for six years.
Green Party Senator Sarah Hanson-Young became the youngest person elected to the Senate in 2008 at the age of 25.
A Liberal spokesman said: “The Liberal Party candidates reflect the diverse community that the party represents.
“This includes young people who are enthusiastic, energetic and passionate about their community and have a strong desire to contribute to the betterment of society.
“Regardless of their age, our candidates recognize the benefits the Morrison government can offer and the danger a Labor-Green coalition would pose to our economy and security.
“Mr Goody works for an employment agency and understands the importance of a strong economy in creating job opportunities, which is why he champions the Morrison government.”
The rep also said it shouldn’t be snobbish about his normal career to date.
“Any suggestion that working at Woolworths could be viewed as a lesser profession is offensive to the hundreds of thousands of Australians who fill similar roles.”
Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services Linda Burney (left) with former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (right) last week