Zali Steggall
Zali Steggall campaigning with her father Jack in Manly (Image: AAP/Jeremy Piper)

The waiter leans in and offers me tempura prawns, flirting outrageously with one of my interview subjects as he leaves. Like every third person in Manly, he has a thick European accent (in this case Italian) and, like every second person in Manly, he is very attractive. I look down at the drink they gave me as I entered and resolve that if anything might tempt me away from Crikey, it would be if The Manly Daily needed a local business reporter.

We're in the Manly Pavilion, which sits resplendent at the end of a little L-shaped strip of sand that curls away from Manly Wharf, to watch Zali Steggall make her pitch to members of the local chamber of business.