Luke Hartsuyker

Luke Hartsuyker (born 26 October 1959) is an Australian politician who was a member of the House of Representatives from 2001 to 2019, representing the Division of Cowper in New South Wales for the National Party. He served as a government minister in the Turnbull Government and an assistant minister in the Abbott Government. In August 2018, he announced he would retire from parliament at the 2019 federal election.[1]

Luke Hartsuyker
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Cowper
In office
10 November 2001  11 April 2019
Preceded byGarry Nehl
Succeeded byPat Conaghan
Minister for Vocational Education and Skills
In office
21 September 2015  18 February 2016
Prime MinisterMalcolm Turnbull
Preceded byNew ministerial post
Succeeded byScott Ryan
Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment
In office
20 December 2017 (2017-12-20)  5 March 2018 (2018-03-05)
Prime MinisterMalcolm Turnbull
Preceded byKeith Pitt
Succeeded byMark Coulton
Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister
In office
19 July 2016  20 December 2017 (2017-12-20)
Prime MinisterMalcolm Turnbull
Preceded byKeith Pitt
Succeeded byDamian Drum
Assistant Minister for Employment
In office
18 September 2013  21 September 2015
Prime MinisterTony Abbott
Preceded byKate Ellis
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Personal details
Born (1959-10-26) 26 October 1959
Muswellbrook, New South Wales, Australia
Political partyNational
Alma materUniversity of Newcastle
OccupationAccountant and business owner

Background and career

Hartsuyker was born in Muswellbrook, New South Wales, where he attended a state primary school and state high school. His father, Tom Hartsuyker, immigrated from the Netherlands in 1951 and subsequently established a Dutch-themed tourist park in Coffs Harbour called The Clog Barn. Hartsuyker was born a Dutch citizen by descent, but automatically lost his citizenship in 1995 by failing to meet a provision requiring foreign-born citizens to return to the Netherlands every ten years.[2]

Hartsuyker holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Newcastle University, and an Associate Diploma in valuation. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Practising Accountants Australia. He managed his father's business before entering politics. He and his wife, Irene, have two sons.[3][4][5]


In the 2001 federal election Hartsuyker was elected to the Division of Cowper after longstanding Nationals MP Garry Nehl retired from the seat. Hartsuyker retained the seat in subsequent elections: 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.[6]

An electoral redistribution changed Cowper's boundaries prior to the 2016 election: Port Macquarie was included in Cowper for the first time, while the region north of Coffs Harbour was transferred out of Cowper to the Division of Page.[6]

Former Independent MP Rob Oakeshott, who lives in Port Macquarie (which had been within the Division of Lyne prior to the redistribution), contested the Division of Cowper at the 2016 election.[6] A number of seat-level opinion polls in Cowper found the incumbent Hartsuyker and independent Oakeshott neck-and-neck on the two-party-preferred vote. Hartsuyker won re-election, but suffered a swing of 13 percent – the closest that the Nationals had come to losing Cowper in over half a century. The Nationals have held it for all but one term since 1919. While Oakeshott slashed Hartsuyker's two-party margin to 4.5%, Cowper is still a safe National seat in a "traditional" two-party matchup with Labor.

On 8 August 2018, Hartsuyker announced he would retire from federal politics at the 2019 federal election.[1]

Ministerial career

Hartsuyker served as the Assistant Minister for Employment and as the Deputy Leader of the House in the Abbott Ministry, between 18 September 2013 and September 2015.[7] He was the Minister for Vocational Education and Skills in the First Turnbull Ministry between September 2015 and February 2016;[8] the Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister between July 2016 and December 2017; and the Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment in the Second Turnbull Ministry between December 2017 and March 2018.[9][10]


Hartsuyker opposes same-sex marriage and has stated he will not vote for it. A 2011 poll in the Coffs Harbour Advocate, representing those within his electorate, resulted in 78% of respondents in favour of same-sex marriage.[11] After his electorate voted in favour of same-sex marriage in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, Hartsuyker did vote in favour of the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017.


  1. "Coffs MP Luke Hartsuyker calling it a day". Coffs Coast Advocate. 8 August 2018. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  2. Citizenship Register – 45th Parliament
  3. "Ten Aussie politicians who grew up with or ran small businesses – SmartCompany". SmartCompany. 18 August 2015. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
  4. "ParlInfo – GOVERNOR-GENERAL'S SPEECH : Address-in-Reply". Retrieved 17 June 2017.
  5. 7111;, corporateName=Commonwealth Parliament; address=Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, 2600; contact=+61 2 6277. "Hon Luke Hartsuyker MP". Retrieved 17 June 2017.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  6. "Cowper – Australia Votes | Federal Election 2016 (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". ABC News. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
  7. "Tony Abbott's cabinet and outer ministry". AAP. 16 September 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  8. Massola, James (13 February 2016). "Cabinet reshuffle: Malcolm Turnbull announces new frontbench as Mal Brough resigns". The Age. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  9. Turnbull, Malcolm (19 December 2017). "Ministerial Arrangements" (Press release). Government of Australia. Retrieved 3 February 2018. Luke Hartsuyker moves to the role of Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment.
  10. Belot, Henry (1 March 2018). "Darren Chester handed Veterans Affairs portfolio in Cabinet reshuffle". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  11. "Hartsuyker says no to gay marriage". Coffs Coast Advocate. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Garry Nehl
Member for Cowper
Succeeded by
Pat Conaghan
Political offices
Preceded by
Keith Pitt
Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment
Succeeded by
Mark Coulton
Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister
Succeeded by
Damian Drum
New ministerial post Minister for Vocational Education and Skills
Succeeded by
Scott Ryan
Preceded by
Kate Ellis
as Minister for Employment Participation
Assistant Minister for Employment
Ministry abolished
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