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- Australian rugby union player
Former Wallabies captain and back-row David Pocock is set to complete the transition from sports to politics after announcing he will run for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Senate in their next federal election.
Pocock has flirted with the political sphere for several years in a passionate fight against climate change. In 2014, he underlined his activist involvement when he was arrested for chaining himself to a tractor to protest against a new coal mine in New South Wales.
Understands the importance of being involved
However, looking in from the outside at the United Nations climate talks in Glasgow this year, he understood the importance of being inside the political sphere.
“I’ve always thought that I could potentially have more impact outside the political system,” Pocock told the Sydney Morning Herald via a Zoom interview from Zimbabwe, where he was born and now spends time with his brother Steve on the community conservation project they founded together.
“Seeing the way Australia was represented at COP26 was really frustrating and, frankly, pretty hard to stomach,” he added. “That really reaffirmed and highlighted the need for better political leadership.”
The former breakdown specialist, who played 83 Tests for Australia and captained the side in 2012, retired from the game last year to dedicate his time to tackling climate change.
Pocock believes Australians are being “failed on climate” and sees independents as a possible solution.
“We’ve got all the technology we need. We just need the political will,” he said. “But we can change that and we can change it really quickly if we have more independents in there who are actually pushing for a better future.”
The rugby union great has been a Canberra resident since 2012. However, running as an independent where voters have only elected one Liberal and one Labour representative since 1975 is ambitious.
To achieve his goal, Pocock will need to be voted in ahead of the Australian Labor Party’s Katy Gallagher or the Liberal Party’s Zed Seselja while also facing up to constitutional law expert Kim Rubenstein, who is also running as an independent.
His genuine passion for the environment and his high profile does make Pocock an attractive candidate to some of the established parties, specifically the Greens. However, he does not want to be bound to a particular party.
Pocock revealed that he is engaging with ProAct, a local community organisation pushing for the election centre-progressive independent senator in the ACT.
“The reason I’m running as an independent [is] to be able to represent my community and not have to toe a party line that’s out of step with what they want,” he added.
The article Wallabies legend David Pocock to run for Senate appeared first on Planetrugby.com.