Former Wallabies captain David Pocock will run for the Senate at the next federal election, citing a “crisis of trust” in Australian politicians.
The 78-cap legend, who has been a passionate advocate for climate change action throughout his career will run as an independent, aiming to fill one of the ACT’s two seats.
And much like the ruthless attitude with which he approached his rugby career, Pocock is confident he can make an impact, stating “I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think I could win”.
The man who led the Wallabies said Australia’s current political landscape lacked leadership.
“That’s something that we’re missing from politics – leadership that’s actually looking beyond the next three years, actually looking to make decisions that are going to make our future better as Australians,” he said.
“For me that’s having people in politics who aren’t career politicians, who are there to represent their communities, not having to toe the party line.”
Pocock’s commitment to fighting for a cause is difficult to question. He refused to get married until it was open for same-sex couples, chained himself to a digger in protest at a NSW coal mine, and founded a charity to assist underprivileged communities in his birth country, Zimbabwe.
Pocock, who attended the recent COP26 summit in Glasgow, said the “tide has turned” towards more ambitious climate action.
“Australians recognise we need urgent and meaningful climate action,” he said.
“Australians recognise now this is no longer an economic cost – this is an economic opportunity for us. Australia is getting left behind on climate action.”
Like many independents, Pocock said creating a federal anti-corruption watchdog was toward the top of his agenda.
“We’re facing a crisis of trust in politics,” he said.
“We clearly need an independent commission who can look at this and hold politicians to a higher standard and actually begin to change the culture.”
He is backed by proACT, an organisation demanding an independent senator that will listen to communities and demand action on several issues.
The ACT’s current senators are Labor’s Katy Gallagher and the Liberals’ Zed Seselja.
Pocock retired from rugby last year to focus on conservation.