Tim Wilson is the latest to declare he will be running for the deputy mayoralty in the upcoming Melbourne City Council elections.

Director of the IP and Free Trade Unit at the Institute of Public Affairs, the openly gay Wilson is also a patron of the Midsumma festival.

For the gay and lesbian community in Melbourne, their issues are the same as everybody else’s in large parts, particularly with relation to what local government can have an impact on.

It’s about making sure that the city is safe, that we have a good working transport system around Melbourne, and it’s about making sure Melbourne is a place that is good to live, work and play. That’s what’s going to make a difference to gay and lesbian voters as well as straight voters, he said.

Wilson was approached to run by mayoral candidate, Peter McMullin, and has nominated violence and transport as the key issues which need tackling in the upcoming term of office.

I do a lot of work in national and international policy, but I’m also a great believer in the philosophy of thinking global and acting local.

Melbourne has always had a very special place in my heart. I’ve had lots of opportunities to live elsewhere and I’ve always declined them because I actually like living here and I’d like to make a great contribution to the city, he said.

Wilson has been a critic of the Rudd Government’s Emissions Trading Scheme and recently challenged Climate Change minister Penny Wong on what she had done inside the party room to advocate for gay marriage.

There’s two gay people on this panel, you and I, and I find it very frustrating that within your party room you may very well be vocal, but when you come out here you defend that position.

It’s okay to have a different opinion from your party, Wilson said on the ABC’s Q&A program in August.

The race for deputy will be fought against the Greens’ Kathleen Maltzahn. Current deputy mayor Gary Singer has not ruled out running. Michele Anderson, president of the Docklands Community Association, has also announced she will run.

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