Huw Kingston was sitting in a hotel room in India this year when he finally decided to enter the political fray.
"This is it. It's time to make a decision," he thought to himself.
In fact the 55-year-old Bundanoon man and well known adventurer had been thinking of standing for the seat of Hume at the next federal election since last August.
He told The Post his frustration with the political process began 10 years ago but boiled over last year when former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was deposed by his own party.
"I'm not a political animal but I started thinking about what was playing out. There were major issues that needed to be addressed yet oxygen was being sucked up by people who were paid to get on with the job," he said.
Mr Kingston is one of a growing number of independent candidates challenging prominent Liberals on the climate change issue. This time he's taking on Energy Minister Angus Taylor, who sits on a 10 per cent margin in Hume.
He said he wanted to refocus the debate on climate change and stop the "dog whistling" so he could look his grandchildren in the face and tell them he tried.
Mr Kingston believes many voters share the same view.
"If you look at the political surveys done, climate change is on top along with employment, housing and health," he said.
"There are absolutely enough people concerned about the lack of real action on climate change and a lot of other issues."
He argued inaction would lead to pressures in many other areas, such as the economy and said he detected growing disaffection among Liberal voters due to climate change and the August 'coup.'
Mr Kingston joins lawyer and former Olympian Zali Stegall in challenging high-profile Liberals in their electorates. Ms Stegall is standing against Tony Abbott in the seat of Warringah. Barnaby Joyce and Sussan Ley are facing contests from independents in the seats of New England and Farrer respectively.
Mr Kingston says he's under no illusions that Hume will be "a huge uphill battle."
But he's no stranger to challenges.
In 2015 he completed a 12-month circumnavigation of the Mediterranean by kayak, foot, ocean rowboat and bike, raising money for Save the Children in the process.
He's trekked the Himalayas and undertaken many other worldwide adventures. Over the past 20 years he's run large running, cycling and kayaking events in regional NSW. Mr Kingston also has a tour company taking people overseas on skiing, cycling and similar tours and is a regular writer for outdoor adventure publications.
He initiated the 'Bundy on Tap' campaign at Bundanoon in 2009, stopping the sale of bottled water there. Mr Kingston also owned a bike shop and cafe at Bundanoon.
While known around the Southern Highlands where he has lived for the past 25 years, he said he was "starting from zero" in other parts of the electorate.
"I'm looking forward to getting out there and talking to people who don't know me from a bar of soap," Mr Kingston said.
"I'll be spending a lot of time around Goulburn."
He kicked this off with a stall at Goulburn Show on the weekend. Mr Taylor also had a stall.
Regarding other policies, Mr Kingston said politicians only "paid lip service" to cutting red tape for small business.
"In Goulburn a huge portion of the economy is controlled by small business and I want to make economic opportunity easier to grasp," he said.
In addition, he told The Post it beggared belief that a Very Fast Train still hadn't been built between Sydney and Canberra.
Regional development, general health and mental health services as well as addressing the "obesity crisis" were also key priorities.
Mr Taylor said anyone was welcome to stand for Hume but he stood on his track record of "record growth, infrastructure investment and job creation."
On climate change he referred to a suite of measures, including the $1.4 billion Snowy 2.0 investment announced last week that he said would guarantee 2030 Paris targets were reached.
"I think at the end of the day the people of Goulburn want a strong economy, they want jobs and they want money going into services like health and education," Mr taylor said.
"They also want to know that the government is doing sensible, proportionate things to reach our international obligations and that's exactly what we're doing."
Asked whether the measures were coming too late, the MP said the government had reduced its remaining requirement to reach its Paris obligations by 10 per cent in recent years.
Mr Taylor said $27 billion would be invested in solar in the next three years.
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