After leading a six-year battle for the reinstatement of the staff-elected director position to the ABC board, veteran public broadcasting activist Quentin Dempster finds himself ineligible to stand under Labor's long-awaited legislation.

Dempster, a veteran journalist and host of the NSW 7.30 edition, broke the news in a note he emailed to all ABC staff late yesterday. He said he was "distressed by this turn of events but have no choice now but to withdraw":