‘Unfinished business’: PM’s new headache
JULIA Banks has confirmed she will stand as an independent to take down a senior Liberal Party minister.
Ms Banks, who went to the crossbench after the messy toppling of Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister last year, will run against Health Minister Greg Hunt in the Victorian seat of Flinders.
"It's important that the people of Flinders are not taken for granted and have a strong, independent representative who listens, gives it their all and takes pride in being their voice," she said in a statement on Thursday to Nine News.
"I've always given 100 per cent and this will be no different. My values are in the sensible centre and at the core of what I stand for. I'll always support policies which reflect economic responsibility whilst being socially progressive."
She noted that addressing climate change will be high on her agenda, saying "clean renewable energy is the future".
In November, Ms Banks announced she would not be contesting the next election as a Liberal MP after accusing both major political parties of "bullying and intimidation" in the wake of the leadership spill in August.
"The coup was aided by many MPs trading their vote for a leadership change in exchange for their individual promotion, preselection endorsements or silence," she said in a statement.
"Their actions were undeniably for themselves. For their position in the Party. Their power. Their personal ambition. Not for the Australian people who we represent. Not for what people voted for in the 2016 election."
Ms Banks said the aftermath of the leadership spill laid bare the major parties' "obstructionist and combative actions".
"All for political pointscoring rather than for timely, practical sensible decisions on matters which Australians care about."
She also took aim at the Liberals' "women problem", saying the level of regard and respect for women in politics across both major parties was years behind the business world.
"There is also a clear need for an independent and whistleblower system as found in many workplaces to enable reporting of misconduct of those in power without the fear of reprisal or retribution," she said.