The Treasurer, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP has a new challenger for his seat of Kooyong with human rights lawyer and outspoken refugee advocate Mr Julian Burnside AO QC announcing that he would be running as the Greens candidate in on Tuesday.
Mr Burnside had previously pledged to stay out of politics, but stated, ‘I am breaking that vow, because our political system is broken. I have been a critic for too long: it’s time to throw my hat in the ring’.
Leader of the Greens, Senator Richard Di Natale said that Kooyong voters are ‘sick of the climate deniers within the Liberal party, sick of seeing the Liberal party dominated by the hard right… [and] no longer recognise the party they once supported.’
Since announcing his candidacy, Mr Burnside has raised over $132,000.
Although the Treasurer holds the seat on a 12.8% margin, Kooyong has emerged as a political target given the increased popularity surrounding independent candidates and following Labor’s significant victory in the Victorian State Election.
In order for the Greens to win Kooyong, they would need to finish second in the first preference count and secure the majority of the Labor second preference vote. At the 2016 Federal Election, the Greens’ primary vote was 1% lower than the Labor Party vote.
Mr Frydenberg welcomed the Greens’ contest.
‘I’ve said no seats are safe across Australia. I certainly don’t take anything for granted locally and continue to work hard to deliver for my local community,’ he said.
Former head of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and former Liberal Party member Mr Oliver Yates will run as an independent, while family therapist and policy expert Ms Jana Stewart is the Labor candidate.