Teal candidates in Pittwater and Manly are seeking to replicate success in the upcoming state election.

With the Northern Beaches now solidly held at the federal level by Teal representatives Zali Steggall OAM and Dr Sophie Scamps, the group have set their sights on the state electorates of Pittwater and Manly.

Candidate for Pittwater Jacqui Scruby (main image) kicked off her campaign with around 50 supporters on Tuesday evening (13 December) at Park House, Mona Vale (image below). Many of those present were part of the federal campaign for Mackellar, including Dr Scamps, and keen to replicate the success at the state level.

Jacqui Scruby campaign launch

With a background as an environmental lawyer, Ms Scruby worked on the election campaign for Dr Scamps and has been working on her staff since the election. Her campaign priorities reflect similar themes; climate action, integrity, environmental protection, cost of living, small business, health and transport, equality and inclusion.

“I’ve been inspired by my time working with Dr Sophie Scamps, our wonderful Federal MP. I’ve seen first-hand the power of being an Independent in Parliament.

“We’ve achieved so much in just a few months, working on the Climate Change Act and new National Anti-Corruption Commission, by listening to our community and working constructively across party lines to get things done.

“We’ve been taken for granted in Pittwater for too long. We’ve lost our local hospital, our local Pittwater council, our main roads flood all the time. It’s time we got our voice back,” said Ms Scruby.

Jacqui Scruby campaign launch

She also raised the spectre of the controversial Petroleum Exploration Permit 11 (PEP 11) being reinstated. The permit is currently subject to a court challenge after former Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s decision to end it.

“The Liberal/National government hasn’t legislated against offshore oil and gas drilling projects. PEP 11 and future projects remain a risk to our beaches. Our community has made their voice clear. We must save our beaches. No oil and gas on our coastline,” declared Ms Scruby.

Those comments drew a swift reaction from Pittwater MP and NSW Minister for Infrastructure, Cities and Active Transport Rob Stokes, who emphatically declared PEP 11 ‘dead in the water’ from a NSW perspective.

Rob Stokes

Rob Stokes

“As far as the NSW Government is concerned, PEP 11 is dead in the water, we have made that manifestly clear. The real issue here is the legal action against the federal government in the Federal Court, because of the deficiencies of federal legislation.

“The laws that need changing are federal laws, not state laws. The only way that PEP 11 will rise from the depths is due to weakness in federal laws, state law is manifestly clear. Because of our policy, it doesn’t even get into the legislative process in NSW,” said Minister Stokes.

Joeline Hackman

In Manly, co-founder of Feed Our Medics and Northern Beaches War on Waste, Joeline Hackman (image above) has been named as the Teal candidate. With a master’s degree in professional communication and a management and marketing background, Ms Hackman says she brings a wealth of business and community experience to the role.

“I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to represent this community where I grew up, and now raise my own family. I’ll listen and advocate for the people of the Manly electorate. As a community Independent, I won’t have to vote along party lines and align myself to values that don’t sit well with my constituency,” said Ms Hackman.

Ms Hackman’s policy priorities align with those of other Teal candidates; reducing the cost of living, protecting the climate and environment, ending corruption in state politics, supporting health workers, and improving public transport.

At this stage, the contest in Manly looks to be a two horse race between Ms Hackman, and the incumbent member and NSW Environment and Heritage Minister, James Griffin.

Neither The Greens nor Labor have declared an intention to field a candidate in Manly, which would be to the advantage of Ms Hackman as those votes would likely flow largely to her.

Wakehurst's Independent group targets state election

The Teal campaign in Wakehurst appears to have stalled, with no candidate being announced to date and inquiries not yielding any confirmation of a candidate nomination. The Wakehurst Independent website does not appear to have been updated since October (2022), and remains open to accept nominations to stand as the candidate.

The Northern Beaches Advocate understands that there may have been a split in the Teal camp in Wakehurst, with the prospect of Northern Beaches Mayor Michael Regan challenging for the seat. Mayor Regan had indicated some months ago he was not intending to stand for the seat, but that was prior to the announcement by Brad Hazzard he would not stand again.

The Liberal Party candidates for Wakehurst appear to have narrowed, with Councillor David Walton now understood not to be standing, leaving Wendy Finianos and Toby Williams as potential nominees, but with no clear date yet on when a selection decision may be made.

With no Teal or Liberal candidate in the field in Wakehurst, the door has been left open for The Greens candidate Ethan Hrnjak to campaign and pick up votes. 19-year-old Mr Hrnjak stood for Mackellar in the federal election but suffered a five percent swing, with votes moving to Dr Scamps.

No Labor candidates have yet been declared in any of the electorates on the Northern Beaches. The NSW Election will be held on Saturday, 25 March 2023.

Images: Northern Beaches Advocate, Independent for Manly, Wakehurst’s Independent

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