Burns puts his hand up

THE AJN can confirm that former Michael Danby staffer Josh Burns is seeking preselection to succeed him as the Labor candidate at the next federal election.

Burns, a Mount Scopus graduate, announced today (Friday) that he intends to “put his hand up” in McNamara, the new name for the electorate of Melbourne Ports.

“Melbourne Ports has over 100 years of proud Labor history,” Burns said.

“Born and raised in Caulfield, I understand the work required to lead Labor to victory – and I understand deeply the difference Labor can make to the lives of local people.”

Burns was last a political candidate in 2014, when he ran against incumbent Liberal David Southwick in the seat of Caulfield in the Victorian state election.

And while he didn’t win, he said “our primary vote went up 5 per cent, while the Liberals and the Greens went backwards”.

“We ran a unified campaign on better local schools, improving public transport and fixing the Liberals’ cuts to health,” he said.

“And we did it with an army of passionate local Labor volunteers.”

Burns has spent the last three-and-a-half years working as a senior advisor to Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, and joined him in Israel last year, meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In recent years, the one-time Maccabi basketball player also got married and became a father for the first time.

“A lot has changed … But what hasn’t changed is my passion for grassroots campaigning – and my belief in fighting for those issues that matter to our community,” he said.

Burns also paid tribute to Danby, who announced this week his intention to step down after 20 years in federal parliament.

“I have seen up close Michael’s passion and the long hours he has dedicated to representing our community,” he said.

Our Parliament is better for having fearless, passionate people like Michael in it, and I thank him for his service.

“In his footsteps, I want to continue that legacy and keep fighting for our community.”