Kernot to run as independent senator

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Former Australian Democrats leader and Labor MP Cheryl Kernot is now seeking a new political career as an independent.

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Her name is on the official list of nominations for a NSW Senate seat.

Ms Kernot will reportedly stand as an independent under the group name ‘Change Politics’.

Ms Kernot, who has been working as Director of Social Business at the Centre for Social Impact at the University of NSW, is believed to be taking unpaid leave.

Her Senate running mate in NSW is Simon Cant, an innovation consultant who has worked in the commercial and non-profit sectors and is a former independent Manly counsellor.

According to the statement, the independent group only decided to contest the federal election on Tuesday evening, July 27.

Ms Kernot said they made the deadline for nominations with “minutes to spare”. “Fate was kind to us,” she added.

The candidates said they did not underestimate the challenge they face getting noticed by voters in the lead up to polling day on August 21.

The group has been meeting regularly over the past few months and believes “contemporary politics is undermining our democracy by destroying the essential bonds of trust and loyalty between citizens and their elected representatives.”

Ms Kernot was an Australian Democrats Senator for Queensland from 1990 to 1997, and became the party’s leader in 1993.

In October 1997 she abandoned the Democrats and joined the Labor party, saying she wanted more influence in the fight against the Howard government.

She narrowly won the Queensland House of Representatives seat of Dickson at the 1998 federal election, but lost it in 2001 to Liberal Peter Dutton.

After her election loss she moved to the United Kingdom, taking up a post at Oxford University. She return to Australia in 2008.