Ipswich league legend to have a crack at federal politics
IPSWICH'S favourite son Kerrod Walters is the latest rugby league legend to turn his attention to politics.
Independent Senator Glenn Lazarus has drafted his former teammate as an upper-house candidate at this year's federal election.
The former Ipswich Jets hooker said on Tuesday he would run with the Glenn Lazarus Team in a bid to become a Queensland Senator.
It is a major coup for Senator Lazarus who broke away from the Palmer United Party last year to establish his own party.
Mr Walters said he understood the daily struggles facing Queenslanders and wanted to be their voice in the nation's capital.
The former Ipswich Grammar School student said he was under no illusions at how tough the road ahead would be.
"I understand the challenges people face every day trying to figure out how to make ends meet, pay the mortgage and put food on the table," he said.
"One of the biggest challenges facing the state is employment - especially in regional communities.
"I do not claim to be a politician but I am all about Queenslanders having a real voice.
"Ultimately politics is like footy . . . if you work hard you will get the results."
Mr Walters, who suffered a heart attack in 2013, said his health was back on track and he was ready for the toughest game of his career.
He said one issue he wanted to see addressed was the rising obesity levels being witnessed across the nation.
"We need to get the kids away from computer screens," he said.
"We need to get our kids outdoors so they become more active."
Senator Lazarus welcomed Mr Walters onboard but also said he was not fearful of the government's threats to call a double-dissolution election.
The government has introduced Senate voting reforms which would make it harder for micro parties to be elected.
"I am under no illusions it will be a tough slog if there is a double dissolution," he said.
"This guy (PM Malcolm Turnbull) has just moved the goalposts so he can control the Senate."
Senator Lazarus claimed reports which suggested he stormed out of a dinner last week with Mr Turnbull at The Lodge were incorrect.
"This guy invited us (crossbench senators) over to dinner a couple of days after essentially signing our death warrant," he said.
"I felt he was trying to charm us and I also felt he had no interest in listening to what we had to say.
"So I simply got up and walked out."
Mr Walters played 250 games in the NRL, represented Queensland six times and represented Australia eight times.