The former Australian rugby union captain and Senator-elect David Pocock said climate change, the creation of a national anti-corruption commission, and a referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament are his policy priorities.
Former Wallaby David Pocock has become the first independent elected to the Senate from the ACT and said his success is evidence of the need to restore trust in politics.
Senator-elect Pocock defeated three-term Liberal Zed Seselja to become one of the ACT’s two senators along with Finance Minister Katy Gallagher.
Meanwhile, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has postponed the scheduled declaration of a winner in the seat of Gilmore.
Mr Pocock’s campaign had prioritised calls for stronger action on climate change, the creation of a federal anti-corruption watchdog, and a referendum to create an Indigenous Voice to parliament.
Mr Pocock said voters expected politicians to work constructively towards delivering policies in the “best interests of all of us”.
“My sense talking to people across Canberra is there’s a frustration with the way that issues have been politicised,” he told reporters.
“There’s a real need to start to rebuild trust in politics and our institutions.
“We’re clearly facing some really big challenges as a country and that’s going to take leadership and vision and actually making decisions that will benefit all of us.”
His campaign had been backed by the Climate 200 movement, which had also helped finance the successful push from a wave of teal independents at the election.
The Zimbabwe-born former rugby player also campaigned as a climate-action conservationist before his election.
He’s called for Australia to reduce emissions by up to 60 per cent by 2030, going beyond Labor’s current commitment of 43 per cent by this deadline.
But he also said he was committed to being “pragmatic and constructive” on climate policy to move “beyond the insanity when it comes to targets and the lack of climate action.”
“We need the big policy settings to unlock, you know, billions of dollars of private investment to actually speed up the transition,” he said.
Mr Pocock has also backed the Albanese government’s commitment to enshrining an Indigenous Voice to parliament in the Constitution.
“The Uluru Statement from the Heart is just such a generous offer to all Australians to actually begin to move forward and address our past and to build a future together,” he said.
“It’s obviously a complex issue, it’s going to take a lot to ensure that it’s done the right way to get a good result at a referendum.”