The Australian Greens announced on October 23 that high profile economist and environmentalist Clive Hamilton would stand for the party in the upcoming by-election for the federal seat of Higgins in Victoria.
Hamilton said he planned to make climate change a central issue of the by-election.
"With our country once again a laggard nation in response to global warming, and the government and opposition competing to vilify asylum seekers, never has a national and international standpoint been more sorely needed", he said on October 23.
"Only the Greens can rise above the cheap politicking and take a principled stance, and I feel privileged to be their candidate. The people of Higgins and I now have the opportunity to make a bold national statement — Australia must take a lead in global issues."
Hamilton is the author of numerous books, including Scorcher: The Dirty Politics of Climate Change and Growth Fetish.
Until last year, he was the executive director of the left-wing think tank The Australia Institute.
Higgins was held by former treasurer Peter Costello from 1990 and is considered a safe Liberal seat. However, the Greens polled just below 11% there in the 2007 federal election, higher than its 8.17% average across Victoria.
Greens Senator Bob Brown said Hamilton had "pioneered national debate on climate change and social justice".
"He offers the voters of Higgins a sharp intellect, a very strong social conscience and hard work as their representative in parliament. He will raise the level of debate on climate change and other national issues to a higher level in the House of Representatives", Brown said.
The ALP has confirmed it would not contest the by-election. The by-election date is still to be set, but is expected to take place before the end of the year.