Former federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg rules out return to politics at next election

Former federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg has ruled out a reported return to politics at the next election amid speculation he would run again for his old constituency of Kooyong.

Mr Frydenberg was one of the biggest losers of the 2022 federal election when he lost his senior Liberal seat in central Melbourne to independent Democrat Monique Ryan.

Rumors of his political comeback first emerged at the weekend when cabinet colleagues campaigned for his return.

And this despite the fact that the party had selected 31-year-old Amelia Hamer for Kooyong.

But on Monday, the Morrison government’s former finance minister put an end to these rumors.

“I am not rushing back into politics, my position on participation in the next elections remains unchanged,” he said in a post on X (formerly Twitter) to his 117,027 followers in the afternoon.

“I will continue to support the Liberal Party and our local candidate Amelia Hamer.”

Mr Frydenberg held the seat for 12 years until Ms Ryan won it in 2022 by a margin of 52.9 per cent.

His seat was one of several the party lost in the federal election of the same year to independent voters running in Liberal constituencies in metropolitan areas.

Mr Frydenberg is now chairman of the Australian division of global investment bank Goldman Sachs and recently produced a documentary for Sky Australia about rising anti-Semitism.

In September last year, he said the decision not to run for Kooyong again was “a difficult decision that I have been weighing up for some time.”

“It has been a great privilege to serve our local community for almost 12 years and to be a Liberal Party candidate in the last five federal elections,” he said.

Karen Andrews, the former industry minister in the Morrison government, said Mr Frydenberg was someone the party needed to bring back into federal politics.

“I think we now have an opportunity to revisit what happened in Victoria and look at where and how we might be able to bring Josh Frydenberg back into the federal parliament,” she told the Nine newspaper on Sunday.

The renewed speculation about Mr Frydenberg’s future follows the Australian Electoral Commission’s (AEC) recommendation to abolish the neighbouring seat of Higgins.

AEC Commissioner Tom Rogers said the changes in Victoria were necessary to allow for a reduction in electoral districts from 39 to 38 due to the state’s population decline.

Under the plan, voters in the Higgins electorate – which includes the suburbs of Armadale, Kooyong, Malvern, Prahran and Toorak – will be redistributed to the neighbouring electorates of Chisholm, Hotham, Kooyong, Macnamara and Melbourne.

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