22 May 2022

Eden-Monaro candidate Andrew Thaler pleads guilty to intimidating a woman

| Albert McKnight
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Andrew Thaler

Eden-Monaro candidate Andrew Thaler (centre, standing up) has pleaded guilty to a charge of intimidation. Photo: Steve Cuff, Snowy Mountains Magazine.

Just days before the 2022 federal election, an independent candidate running for the seat of Eden-Monaro has pleaded guilty to intimidating a woman.

Andrew Evan Thaler, 49, admitted he intimidated her with the intention of causing her to fear physical or mental harm while at Polo Flat in NSW, which is just outside Cooma, on 23 February 2018.

His guilty plea was entered in the Queanbeyan District Court on Thursday (19 May), where a separate charge was withdrawn. Parties had messaged the court the day before to say the matter had been resolved.

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Thaler will be sentenced in the Queanbeyan court on Monday (23 May) and faces a maximum of five years’ jail.

Thaler is a candidate in Eden-Monaro, currently held by Labor’s Kristy McBain.

On the section of the Australian Electoral Commission’s (AEC) website that lists the seat’s candidates, he is described as a “Bitcoin Ecosystem Developer”.

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An AEC spokesperson said nothing in the Electoral Act disqualifies candidates based on criminal records or incarceration.

There is a provision relating to prison terms, but that would only come into play if elected and if the candidate’s circumstances met the provision.

On Thaler’s website, he says he has been self-employed in the scrap metal business for 25 years and is an electrical fitter tradesman whose skills cover “nearly every (blokey) discipline imaginable”.

“I swear a little too much when I shouldn’t – old habits can be hard to shake. I don’t like people,” the site states.

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