Ex-Wallaby beats Liberal for Senate seat

·3-min read

Having outflanked a senior Liberal, David Pocock is now ready to tackle his next challenge - politics.

The former Wallaby secured the final ACT Senate seat as an independent on Tuesday, the first time a representative not from the major parties has been elected in the national capital.

"I was running as an independent, wanting to truly represent people in the ACT and a broad policy platform that appealed to people from all different walks of life," Mr Pocock told AAP.

"We had an opportunity to have an independent in the Senate, actually working for our community."

Mr Pocock's victory came at the expense of Liberal senator and former minister Zed Seselja, who was in the upper house for the past nine years.

It will be the first time since the ACT got Senate representation in 1975 that the coalition will not have any members from Canberra in parliament.

Campaigning on increased action on climate change, an integrity commission and territory rights, Mr Pocock will be a crucial crossbench vote in the upper house for the Labor government.

"These are things that the majority of Australians want, the majority of Canberrans want and there's this frustration that issues like climate have been politicised rather than actually finding a way forward," he said.

"It's about ensuring we hold the government to account ... and make sure that policy that comes through the Senate is actually going to work for everyday Australians."

The outgoing Senator Seselja congratulated his successor on his victory.

He described the loss of the seat and the loss of government as a bitter blow, but was optimistic about future success for the party.

"People will write off the Liberal Party as they did in 2007, but we will be back here in the ACT and nationally," he said in a statement.

"It's not always easy to stand up to the Labor-Green left in Canberra, but it's important that there is a political movement which does."

While Mr Pocock hasn't yet met with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, he has held talks with Territories Minister Kristy McBain and the Northern Territory MP Luke Gosling.

"I'll be reaching out and consulting widely and building those relationships with all the parties," he said.

The new senator said there was a lot of work to do between now and the start of the new parliament on July 26.

"We've spent the last three weeks continuing to meet stakeholders and consult more, learn more about the issues that are coming up," he said.

The senators for the Northern Territory were also decided on Tuesday.

Two Indigenous women - Labor's Malarndirri McCarthy and the Country Liberal Party's Jacinta Nampijinpa Price - will take the NT Senate seats.

Senator McCarthy previously held her seat, while Ms Price defeated former CLP senator Sam McMahon, who lost her party's endorsement and unsuccessfully ran as a Liberal Democrats candidate.

South Australia's Senate race will be formally declared on Wednesday.

It is expected Labor will have 26 senators and will need the support of 12 Greens senators and Mr Pocock to pass legislation and motions in the 76-seat upper house from July 1.

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