Human rights barrister Julian Burnside QC will run as a Greens candidate against Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in the Victorian seat of Kooyong at the federal election.
Mr Burnside is the latest high-profile candidate to announce a challenge to the Coalition’s dwindling number of MPs.
In a series of tweets Mr Burnside explained that he had not been interested in politics previously but it was clear that things urgently needed to change, which is why he decided to run in Kooyong.
“For years, the major parties have allowed people to be misled and ignored when it comes to #climatechange, to refugee policy, to addressing inequality,” he tweeted. “They’re driven by self interest and by the demands of their big corporate donors pulling the strings.”
He said Greens policies were centred around people: caring about how people were treated and the opportunities they had throughout their lives.
Mr Burnside said the biggest challenge Australians faced was that big corporations were dictating terms to politicians, and that pollies were more interested in looking after their mates than the people who elect them.
“This is the challenge the Greens are taking on. And that’s why I’m running for Parliament,” he wrote.
“In my career, the cases I am most proud of are those where I have worked to protect people or remedy the injustice they’ve faced by attacks from big corporate interests or from cruel and craven government actions.”
An online fundraising campaign to raise money for his campaign has already raised $46,000 in just a few hours.
— Greens (@Greens) March 4, 2019
However, there are mixed views about whether Mr Burnside has a change of unseating Mr Frydenberg. The Treasurer holds the seat with a two-party preferred vote of 63.34 per cent.
According to The Australian, Mr Burnside decided to run as a Greens candidate because independent Oliver Yates, a former Liberal Party member and renewable energy champion, was failing to gain traction in the area.
Mr Burnside is the latest high profile candidate to take on a coalition MP.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott is also facing a challenge to his local seat of Warringah from former Olympian and lawyer Zali Steggall.
GetUp has also announced a campaign to unseat Peter Dutton in his electorate of Dickson.
There has also been a number of senior MPs who have announced their retirement including Christopher Pyne, Steve Ciobo, Julie Bishop and Nigel Scullion.
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