Bill Shorten announces Ged Kearney as the Labor candidate to contest the Batman by-election.Five months ago Ged Kearney was committed to joining Labor’s political ranks in Victoria, but that was before she got a better offer from Bill Shorten.
While the ACTU is left to find a new leader after Ms Kearney’s departure, the former nurse has worked to shore up her future in Canberra, but if not, in Spring Street.
Ms Kearney announced on Friday she would run as the Labor candidate for the federal seat of Batman in Melbourne’s north at a by-election prompted by the resignation of lower house MP David Feeney amid doubts over his citizenship.
“When the leader of the opposition rings you up and says ‘Ged, you know, I want you to run for Batman’, you can’t just, you know, treat that lightly,” she told reporters.
“These are the people, the people of this community, I would love to represent.”
The union head was confirmed in September as Labor’s preselection pick for the Victorian electorate of Brunswick in the state poll due in November.
“To be asked to run for Brunswick, a suburb I know and love – I call it the People’s Republic – I just think, ‘What an honour’,” she told AAP at the time.
According to the Victorian Electoral Commission, Ms Kearney will continue to be eligible to run for the Brunswick seat unless she wins the federal by-election.
If successful in Batman a new Labor candidate will have to be found, however if she loses, she can still run for the state seat.
Ms Kearney was contacted for comment.
Her departure from the ACTU after eight years means a new leader will be elected in July at a congress in Brisbane.
Around 800 delegates representing workers from every industry and sector in will attend the congress on July 17 and 18.