Saturday, June 10, 2023

Rugby the great David Pocock on his plan to turn Canberra teal in the Senate

After being approached by a group called ProACT, who were looking for an independent Senate candidate, Pocock was selected.

And like other teal independents, Pocock nominates a federal ICAC and stronger action to combat climate change as key issues.

But there’s more than that: “housing affordability and the cost of living is right up there. Equality and safety, defense and national security – ensuring we are investing in defense in the right way, that we get the right equipment and that there isn’t political interference” are also policy issues.

He’s also an advocate for a federal law that stops the ACT from enacting right to die legislation from being repealed, a position very much at odds with the Liberal senator and Minister for the Pacific Zed Seselja.

And in a city that usually misses out on its fair share of federal infrastructure spending because of its safe Labor tendencies, he’s outlined a big vision for a football stadium in the center of Canberra –sparking promises from Seselja and Labor’s finance spokeswoman, Katy Gallagher, for overdue upgrades to the suburban Viking Park and AIS Arena.

Jaded Canberrans mightn’t wonder if the major parties have promised more in the last four weeks than in the last 40 years.

But can he actually win a quota in the two-person ACT Senate race, where a quota of 33.3 percent is needed?

Pocock-commissioned polling by Redbridge has been leaked with metronomic regularity to the Canberra Times and it suggests a Pocock win – which would rely on him taking votes of both Labor and the Liberals – as possible.

The most recent numbers, from April 23-24, had Gallagher on 27 percent of the vote (down eight points), Seselja unchanged at 25 percent, the Greens at 11 percent, and Pocock’s vote nearly doubling from 11 percent to 21 percent.

Extraordinarily, ACT Labor chief minister Andrew Barr intervened in the debate last week and urged Canberrans to put Gallagher and Pocock – not the Greens, with whom Labor governs at territory level – in second place.

And if he doesn’t win?

Pocock gives the ultimate non-politician’s answer – he hasn’t really thought about it.

“There is plenty of stuff I’m interested in, I’ll find another way to contribute – I’ll crack on with something else.”

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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