A teal campaign to defeat NSW Environment Minister James Griffin in the plum seat of Manly has the support of the last person to usurp a Liberal in the Sydney beachside electorate.
Manly doctor Peter Macdonald, who tore Manly from Liberal hands in 1991, sparking a 16-year run for independents, says conditions are ripe for another switch away from the major parties.
He helped launch the election campaign of marketing consultant and charity founder Joeline Hackman on Wednesday night.
"The time has arrived where independents aren't seen as oddities, they're seen as mainstream," Dr Macdonald told about 100 campaign supporters.
Ms Hackman, who has the backing of environment-focused political action group Climate 200 and local group Manly Independent, faces an uphill battle to unseat Mr Griffin in March.
The sitting member won on first preferences in 2019, and NSW's optional preferential voting system means challengers can't rely on indirect support from campaigns to put major parties last on ballots.
But Dr Macdonald said the teal wave federally showed voters wanted more local representation, something an independent MP could do "unfettered and unhindered".
He said Liberal and Labor MPs' "divided loyalty" meant they couldn't really represent their electorate.
"We can't be a servant to two masters, and that's where they let the community down, and that's the reason we need an independent elected here in March," Dr Macdonald said.
Ms Hackman, who lives locally with her doctor husband and their two children, spruiked her credentials as the founder of a local "war on waste" group and the Feed Our Medics charity that provided meals to front-line health care workers during the pandemic.
"I've such a long experience advocating on environmental, health-care and community issues," she said.
"But I realise we cannot continue advocating, we actually have to push to change legislation."
Ms Hackman believes Mr Griffin is beholden to Liberal, National and corporate interests, and criticised the state's lack of legislation backing its emissions reduction targets for 2030 and 2050.
She also underlined the lack of women in the Perrottet government's cabinet.
Six women make up the 24-person cabinet, including three of the eight Nationals members.
Mr Griffin, a father-of-two who once served as a Liberal local councillor alongside his Greens councillor mother, said he was proud of his record since his election in 2017.
Australia's first hospice for adolescents and young adults would soon open on the old Manly hospital site, women's refuge services were expanding and the state government had "a leading Net Zero Plan to reduce emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050".
"From the thousands of locals I have met with over the years to the hundreds of community groups I have had the privilege of working with, they know I operate with integrity, deliver results and we are collectively excited about the bright future for our area," Mr Griffin said in a statement.
Liberals in several blue-ribbon seats face threats from teal candidates at the March election, including in Vaucluse, where former journalist Karen Freyer is running as an independent.
Focus groups have highlighted disaffection towards the government, political analyst Kos Samaras told AAP in October.