I'm a local MP first, says Frydenberg

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Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has moved to head off criticism he has taken his eye off his Melbourne seat.

Mr Frydenberg faces a tough battle against independent Monique Ryan to hold his seat of Kooyong at the May 21 election, according to opinion polls.

Part of the criticism he is facing is having largely ignored his electorate while dealing with the challenges of his job as treasurer.

He told a rally on Sunday he considered his job was "first and foremost to be a local member", working with local community groups.

"Over the last 12 years, every day I've woken up and asked myself, 'What can I do to support my community?'"

He noted Dr Ryan's mother-in-law had recently told him she was voting for him.

"She said because you know what you're doing and you're a nice person."

Mr Frydenberg said his "other job" had involved saving Australians' jobs as the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

Despite Dr Ryan insisting she is an independent and would negotiate with either side in the event of a hung parliament, Mr Frydenberg said he was up against a candidate "funded like a political party, organised like a political party, running on the Labor Party platform".

The coalition having won seven of the past nine elections was not just "chance", he said.

"That is because the Australian people can identify with the values and the philosophies that drive me as the member for Kooyong and drive you as supporters of me - a belief in free enterprise, the power of the individual, free speech, strong national security and support for families."

Dr Ryan is running on a platform largely based on a call for more ambitious action on climate change and a federal integrity commission.

Despite acknowledging she is a former ALP member, the respected paediatric neurologist says she is running as an independent.

She will debate Mr Frydenberg in a Sky News event on Thursday.

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