In less than two months, Labor candidate Keir Paterson will look to return to Melbourne as the Labor seat in the upcoming federal election – but he faces an uphill battle.
The Kensington resident, who was born in Carlton and spent his early years in North Melbourne, is seeking to oust Greens leader Adam Bandt, who many expect to claim election victory for the fifth time in a row.
Most recently President of the Cycling Network with 50,000 members, an advocate group for more sustainable transport and safer riding, Mr Paterson has worked on mental health, leading programs and interventions to make workplaces more psychologically safe and mentally healthy.
In a recent Facebook post, the father of three said his decision to run for federal parliament was due to a deep affinity with the area.
“I love Melbourne, but it hurts. Restaurants, pubs and shops are closed, live music is silenced, our tertiary sector is for life. The lifeblood of our city – the arts – is bleeding,” he said.
“We can not afford to stand on the sidelines of the government for another three years. An Albanian Labor government will start the important work of a national reconstruction, committed not to leave anyone behind. I would like to be a part of that – and I want to make sure that our society is also a part of it. ”
A Labor stronghold from 1904 to 2010, the seat in Melbourne has since become synonymous with the Greens.
On the campaign trail in recent weeks, Mr Paterson said people had expressed a strong desire to “get rid of this Morrison government” and that “the only way to do that was with a vote on Labor.”
“No seat in the country has been affected by COVID as severely as Melbourne. We need a Member of Parliament in Canberra who is a staunch advocate for Melbourne’s central role in the post-COVID-19 national reconstruction,” he said.