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Is he up for the fight?

Anthony 'The Man' Mundine keeps everybody guessing. Report Joseph Sumegi & Alexandra Walker in the 16th August 2006 SydneyCentral Courier.

It was a non-announcement that left everybody confused. According to rumours, champion boxer and former rugby league player Anthony Mundine was to announce yet another career change last week – this time entering politics.

Speculation was rife that Mr Mundine was set to throw his hat in the political ring as an independent candidate for Marrickville and run a campaign centred, at least partly, around the State Government's decision to dismiss the locally conceived revamp of The Block, the Pemulwuy Project, in favour of its own plans.

But at a rally on Thursday night, he stunned the crowd of 400, giving the State Government a serve but staying tight-lipped when it came to his own political future.

However, a number of media outlets carried a story claiming he had told the crowd he planned to run as an independent for the seat. In his speech Mr Mundine attacked Redfern-

Waterloo Authority Minister Frank Sartor. Mr Mundine also said he wanted to provide a voice for the concerns of Indigenous Australians.

"It's my passion, you know, to fight for my people and their affairs," he said.

In the days following his non-announcement, sources close to Mr Mundine said he was being courted by Labor, the Greens and the Liberals.

Just hours before Thursday's rally at The Block the Greens' candidate for Marrickville, Colin Hesse, said he had withdrawn his candidacy for the Marrickville seat, citing personal reasons.

His withdrawal from the race led to speculation that Mr Mundine could now run under the Greens' banner at the next election in March.

Earlier this week, State Liberal leader Peter Debnam wouldn't be drawn on whether the Liberal party was among those courting Mr Mundine.

Mr Debnam did, however, say that he thought Mr Mundine had "a legitimate complaint". "If he's going to run in Marrickville to make that point, then that's a good point to make," he said.

Tom Uren, an elder statesman for the Labor left and a former minister in the Whitlam Government, said that he respected Mr Mundine.

And while he thought Mr Sartor was "excessively arrogant" he also said he thought current Labor member for Marrickville, Cannel Tebbutt, was "outstanding" and represented the "best elements" of the Labor Party.

On Wednesday, the day before the rally, Ms Tebbutt met with the representatives from the Aboriginal Housing Company.

The organisation headed by Anthony's uncle, Mick Mundine, met with Ms Tebbutt to discuss the future of The Block which will fall inside the Marrickville electorate at the next election.