Labor field incumbent in key battleground with Greens

Labor MP Ged Kearney will be running for Cooper. Photo: Sean Carroll

Labor MP Ged Kearney will be running for Cooper. Photo: Sean Carroll

Federal member of parliament Ged Kearney will be contesting her seat in the newly-renamed Cooper electorate in the upcoming federal election in May.

Since being elected last year in a by-election, Ms Kearney pledged to put community first in her first maiden speech to parliament.

As the first woman to be elected in the seat formerly known as Batman, Ms Kearney has set her sights on supporting the diverse community found in Cooper if re-elected in 2019.

The Labor candidate has lived in the electorate for more than 25 years with her family.

Prior to her political career, Ms Kearney was a nurse who rose to become Federal Secretary of the Australian Nursing Federation.

She also worked with the ACTU and fought for better conditions for Australian workers in the social welfare sector.

Ms Kearney got her start in politics campaigning against former prime minister John Howard’s Workchoices campaign along with advocating for pay equality and social justice issues.

“All of my life I have been an advocate – when I was a nurse, I was advocating for the patients and the health system, when I was at the ACTU, I was advocating for the nursing members, so it seemed like a natural progression for me [to get into politics],” she told the Junction.

She won Batman in a by-election last year when David Feeney was ruled ineligible to sit in parliament along with several other dual-citizen Australian MPs.

Ms Kearney won the primary vote over Greens candidate, Alex Bhathal.

In a statement on her website, Ms Kearney said that she would like to see increased funding to public schools and create accessible healthcare for all.

“I have been listening to what’s important to you. [Cooper] needs better funded schools and accessible healthcare. We want to protect our environment and take decisive action on climate change. And we need a respectful policy for asylum seekers. I’ll be working hard on these issues – and with your support we can make [Copper], and hopefully Australia, even better.”

If re-elected, Mrs Kearney says that she will make climate change, education and justice for refugees a priority.

“I want to continue my fight for justice for refugees, that is something that is dear to me and is important to me. I want to make sure our response the climate emergency is strong, quick and complete. I want to continue to work towards decent education and healthcare. Another issue that I hold dearly is homelessness and I really think we need to focus on this and to me it is the key to everything.”

Mrs Kearney will be contesting her Cooper seat in the Federal Election on May 18.