David Feeney
David Feeney

Feeney to face fierce battle for seat of Batman

LABOR powerbroker David Feeney has flagged his desire to move to the lower house, announcing he will seek to replace former resources minister Martin Ferguson in the Melbourne seat of Batman.

But Senator Feeney is expected to face a fierce battle to secure pre-selection in the seat, which Labor holds by 25%, with speculation Australian Council of Trade Unions president Ged Kearney will also nominate.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Defence is third on Labor's Senate ticket in Victoria, meaning his chances of re-election are slim.

In a direct pitch to ALP members in Batman, Senator Feeney described himself as a "man of Labor values".

He also paid tribute to Mr Ferguson, who announced on Wednesday he would contest the next election.

"This is a seat with a proud Labor past and has been represented by a great Labor hero, the Hon Martin Ferguson MP," Senator Feeney's statement read.

"It is also a seat with a strong Labor future - a future where Labor values will be as important as ever.

"Whoever they choose, the candidate will have big shoes to fill."

Mr Ferguson retired as resources minister in March after he backed Kevin Rudd in the failed challenge on Julia Gillard's leadership.

Ironically, Senator Feeney is credited with being one of the "faceless men" who ended Mr Rudd's prime ministership in 2010.

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