Wallabies great David Pocock defeats Zed Seselja to become ACT Senator

Wallabies great David Pocock has been successful in his bid to oust a former Liberal minister from the Senate.Wallabies great David Pocock has locked in his place on the Senate benches after defeating Liberal Zed Seselja in an epic election showdown. The independent was confirmed as the winner of the ACT’s second Senate seat on Tuesday morning after the Australian Electoral Commission finalised preference counts. His election boots Mr Seselja, former international development and the pacific minister, out of politics. It means the ACT has no Liberal representatives at the federal level.Finance Minister and Labor senator Katy Gallagher easily secured the first upper house seat despite concerns campaigns from Mr Pocock and constitutional law expert Kim Rubenstein could split the progressive vote. Territory senators face re-election every three years. Mr Pocock will be the first senator to represent the ACT that isn’t from one of the two major parties. In a statement, he wished the outgoing senator well and committed to being “accessible and accountable” to all Canberrans. “For the first time we have an independent voice representing our community in the federal parliament,” he said. “I acknowledge the work of outgoing Senator Zed Seselja after 9 yrs representing us & wish him & his family all the best.“Thank you to everyone who put their trust in me to represent you. It is an incredible honour to be able to serve a community I love.“I’m committed to listening & representing all Canberrans.”The rugby union star, who hung up his boots in 2020, is a prominent environmental activist.In 2014, he was arrested for chaining himself to a digger at a coalmine protest.High on Mr Pocock’s agenda – like many of his new independent colleagues – will be the establishment of a federal anti-corruption commission and meaningful climate action.Another key focus will be ensuring a constitutionally enshrined First Nation’s Voice to parliament and overturning the ban on the ACT and Northern Territory from legislating for voluntary assisted dying.Originally published as Wallabies great David Pocock defeats Zed Seselja in Senate showdown