A Tasmanian Liberal party candidate has resigned in the first week of the election campaign after video surfaced of him criticising coronavirus restrictions implemented by the state government.
The Liberals, who have managed the island state's pandemic response, are seeking re-election at the May 1 poll.
Clarence councillor Dean Ewington was on Sunday nominated by the Liberals as one of their five candidates in the southern seat of Franklin.
But on Wednesday afternoon he offered his resignation after a conversation with Premier Peter Gutwein.
"There is a fundamental difference of opinion in terms of the value of lockdowns," Mr Gutwein said.
"We've had a discussion and Mr Ewington has decided it would be best for him to resign his candidacy."
Tasmania was the first Australian jurisdiction to close its borders during the early stages of the pandemic and enforced a strict lockdown in the northwest last April to curb a hospital outbreak.
In the video, which came to light this week after being posted on Facebook in September, Mr Ewington described some of the state's restrictions as silly and unjustifiable.
"The politicians and bureaucrats and public health officials might mean well but the reality is ... I think we've reached that stage where we're going to be doing more harm than good," he said.
"We live in a free society. No politician, no bureaucrat, no one has the right to treat us as mugs and keep us in the dark.
"These arbitrary rules that these people are actually coming up with through public health advice, well I'd like to see what some of the public health advice is."
Mr Gutwein said he was "very surprised" when he first saw the video on Tuesday night and it prompted a "civil and frank" conversation with Mr Ewington.
"The management of COVID has been something that, at times, has been difficult. It certainly has had an impact on a lot of people," Mr Gutwein said.
"But I firmly believe the steps we've taken have kept people safe."
The ABC have reported Mr Ewington attended a Melbourne anti-lockdown rally in March.
Labor upper house member Sarah Lovell said Mr Ewington's ideas would "make Pete Evans proud", but he was thoroughly unfit to be in parliament.
In a statement, Mr Ewington wished the Liberals all the best for the election.
"While we both respect the right to free speech, in light of the premier's strong stance with COVID-19 I feel there are irreconcilable differences given the strong views I hold on this matter," he said.