Will Brunswick get in the van? Crikey hears that with Brunswick MLA Jane Garrett about to announce her candidacy for Lord Mayor of Melbourne, there’s a move to persuade playwright, Guardian columnist and activist Van Badham to stand for the seat. The move would come from inside the Industrial Left (IL) faction, grouped around the CFMEU (Vic) and RTBU (Vic). Badham’s been a vocal supporter of the CFMEU’s industrial deaths campaign, and is frequently retweeted by CFMEU head John Setka -- including footage of a Badham karaoke number at a fundraiser, which, well ... dare to struggle.
Brunswick is firmly controlled by the Socialist Left (SL), against which the Industrial Left is now aligned. Sources in both camps told Crikey there was a move on to persuade Badham -- a former National Union of Students politician out of Wollongong, before she became a writer -- to stand. The current sole candidate for preselection – which will happen on March 18, the day after the Batman byelection -- is Cindy Louise O’Connor, an organiser with the metalworkers' union (AMWU), and is SL aligned.