News Release: Hartsuyker left embarrassed again over Royal Commission into Banks.

BRL News Release


Statement by Andrew Woodward, Bellinger River Branch, Australian labor Party, 30 November 2017

The Prime Minister’s announcement today of a Royal Commission into banks once again shows just how out-of-touch Luke Hartsuyker has become. Luke Hartsuyker has become a laughing stock as he swings with the breeze and makes things up as he goes along.

Just ten weeks before the 2016 election, Luke Hartsuyker came out in support of Labor’s push for a Royal Commission into the banks. (Coffs Harbour Advocate, 12 April 2016)

With the election out of the way, Mr Hartsuyker dropped his long time support and changed his tune. He started opposing a Royal Commission into banks, taking his orders from Turnbull and Morrison, in another example of the Nationals laying down for the Liberals. As recently as last week Luke Hartsuyker told Sky News he opposed a Royal Commission into banks. According to the Guardian (22 November 2017):

“The Nationals MP Luke Hartsuyker told Sky News on Wednesday the banks had been subjected to a lot of scrutiny by the Turnbull government and it was hard to see how a royal commission would achieve anything. “I think the sorts of recommendations that would come out of a royal commission are the sorts of things that we’re doing now,” he said. “It’s hard to see how the lawyer’s picnic would advance the case of scrutiny on the banks.””

And today, Malcolm Turnbull comes out and announces a “regrettable” Royal Commission into the banks, bowing to two years of pressure from Labor on the issue.

Luke Hartsuyker’s policy and political judgement has again been shown to be lacking. It is laughable. Locally, he’s been caught out non the Coffs Harbour bypass; he’s bungled the on time competition of the Pacific Highway; he’s defended a second rate NBN and, he was totally out-of-step with his electorate on the marriage equality issue. In the last 18 months he’s been dumped from the Ministry and passed over for re-promotion. His lack of judgment is clear and a real risk for the people of Cowper and the parliament as a whole.



Updated: 30 November 2017

Before an election, @luke_hartsuyker supports Labor’s royal commission into banks. After it, he doesn’t. #cowper

Bank Ind RC

Statement, Bellinger River Labor

Luke Hartsuyker was on Sky on 22 November 2017 and said he’s gone cold on the Royal Commission into banks. He’s wimped out.

This is despite his support just before the last election and overwhelming public support. More than two-thirds of Australians support a Royal Commission into banks.

Once again, he’s been caught making stuff up to get through elections and is now caving into the banks, Turnbull and Morrison.

Labor supports a Royal Commission into the banking industry looking at its scandals, conduct and culture.

Guardian, 22 November 2017

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Coffs Harbour Advocate, 12 April 2016

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Sky News: Majority support banking royal commission

November 2017 Branch Meeting – Resolutions Report

170508 Branch meeting resolutions report


Motion – World Heritage Listing of Bellinger River National Park

This branch:

  1. Calls on Federal and NSW Labor in Government to expedite the inclusion of the Bellinger River National Park into the World Heritage Listed Gondwana Rainforests, fixing the ‘missing link’ between the New England and Dorrigo National Parks (which are included in the Gondwana Rainforests).
  2. Invites the Federal Shadow Minister for the Environment, the Hon. Tony Burke MHR, and the NSW Shadow Minister for the Environment, the Hon Penny Sharpe MLC, to visit Bellingen and inspect the National Park.
  3. Invites Mr Burke and Ms Sharpe to meet with local stakeholders to discuss further refinements to Labor’s policy to establish the Great Koala National Park.

Statement by Andrew Woodward, Branch President

“It makes sense to get Bellinger River National Park off the tentative list and into the listing. It doesn’t make sense to leave it out. On one side of our park, you have the New England National Park and on the other side you have the Dorrigo National Park and both are in the Gondwana Rainforests World Heritage Listing.

“Including Bellinger River National Park in the listing sends a powerful signal that that we live in one of the most precious environmental places on earth. The rainforests have the same ecological significance as the Galapagos Islands. We need to do what we can to give it the best protection we can.

“A listing is not only good for conservation, it will be great for tourism and other businesses as visitors come to experience the unique nature of the area , using places in the shire as the base.

“Labor put the park on the tentative list but is hasn’t budged with the changes of government in Sydney and Canberra earlier this decade. Labor is committed to getting things off the sticky notes and into the listing.

Statement by Dr Oisín Sweeney, Senior Ecologist, NSW National Parks Association

“It’s great to see someone take the initiative in progressing World Heritage listing. The biodiversity values of northern NSW are enormous, and World Heritage is the ultimate recognition of this value”.

“Australia is incredibly lucky to have many natural areas of global significance that qualify for World Heritage. We’d urge the federal Government not to stop at Bellinger River, but to progress all of the areas that have been proposed but not finalised”.

“NSW Labor leader Luke Foley took a very ambitious World Heritage proposal to the last election which NPA fully supported. We’d love to see the federal Government once again get serious about progressing World Heritage – it’s a badge of honour, and a huge tourist attraction to boot”.

Statement by Luke Foley, Leader of the Opposition (17 March 2015)

“Labor will also pursue World Heritage Listing for the Northern rainforests as well as direct the Office of Environment and Heritage to assess the proposal of a Eucalypt World Heritage listing.”


Motion – National Environmental Laws

This branch calls on the Australian Labor Party to safeguard our unique natural heritage and environment on behalf of future Australians by creating new environment laws, and founding an independent, fully resourced, public agency for the environment, within the first term of Government.

This reform builds on Labor’s rich history of environmental protection.

Our current laws are failing to protect our natural assets, and create complexity and uncertainty. We need to update and enhance our environmental management to create opportunity and deal with today’s and future threats such as climate change.

The ALP must commit to working with First Nations people and the wider Australian community on the development and implementation of the Australian Environment Act, which will define matters of national environmental significance and enshrine federal leadership in proactive and systemic protection of our environment.

New independent and well-resourced a institutions will embed principles of democratic accountability and intergenerational justice. These institutions will develop and implement a National Environment Plan and will enforce the law.


Updated: 21 November 2017







News Release: Marriage equality – Just do it

BRL News Release.pngStatement

By Andrew Woodward, Bellinger River Branch, President

15 November 2017

Marriage equality – Just do it

Now that the majority of Australians have said ‘yes’ to marriage equality, it is incumbent on all parliamentarians to expedite the vote in parliament on approving changes to the marriage act allowing same sex couples to legally marry in Australia.

It has cost taxpayers $120 million to be told what we already knew and that was that the majority of Australians support marriage equality. That money could have been better spent on, for example, programs combatting domestic violence; helping people deal with depression and anxiety or, addressing disadvantage in rural and regional areas. Instead, we spent $120 million answering a question the Liberal and National parties couldn’t answer for themselves. All the survey did was reinforce just how out-of-touch the Liberal and National parties really are.

It is time to move on from the farce of the survey. Now that we have an unambiguous result and a draft bill, there should be no blocking, no delaying and no further detailed debate about making a very simple change to the marriage act.  There are no excuses. Spurious arguments should be ignored. Delaying tactics should be condemned. Malcolm Turnbull must stand up to his recalcitrants within. Parliamentarians must be held accountable.

The Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, has previously said he is opposed to marriage equality – denying all Australians the same human rights as each other. Mr Hartsuyker now has a chance to put his personal biases aside, listen to the people and deliver human rights for all Australians by supporting change to the marriage act. He can earn a place in history as someone who changed Australia for the better and set an example for other nations around the world to follow. Or history can record him as someone who denied a basic human right to his fellow Australians and against their wishes. That would be shameful.

As late as this week, Mr Hartsuyker was one of a handful of Australia’s 200 plus federal parliamentarians who didn’t bother responding to a survey by the ABC on how they would vote in the event a majority of Australians supported marriage equality. The fact that the ABC recorded Mr Hartsuyker as “Did not respond” is an embarrassment to the electorate and contemptible personal behaviour. We deserve better. Of those that replied, 72 per cent of lower house members and 69 per cent of upper house members said they would support a change to the marriage act delivering equality. Wouldn’t it be great if it was 100 per cent. What a unifying message that would send to Australia and around the world.

The people of Australia have spoken. The people of Cowper have spoken. The majority of Australians have said yes. Our parliamentarians should say yes too. That’s the honourable thing to do and bring marriage equality to all Australians.


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Updated: 15 November 2017



News Release: @Luke_Hartsuyker out of touch on marriage equality #yes #cowper

BRL News Release.png


Andrew Woodward, Branch President, Bellinger River Labor, 14 November 2017


On Wednesday at 10 am we learn of the fate of the wasteful marriage equality postal survey. Like many, I hope and expect the result will show majority support for the Yes preference.

This survey cost taxpayers $120 million and is expected to simply confirm what we already knew and that is the majority of Australians support marriage equality. And yet at this late stage Luke Hartsuyker is being evasive on how he will vote in the parliament.

While he has been on the record not supporting marriage equality, and I understand that, if the majority of Australians support marriage equality he, like many of his Liberal and National Coalition colleagues, should respect the will of the people and support it when it comes to a vote.

Yet, when asked by the national broadcaster how he would vote assuming a Yes majority, he couldn’t even be bothered responding.

He is embarrassing us on the national stage. Most members of parliament responded. He didn’t. What sort of representative does that?

Luke Hartsuyker couldn’t be bothered to tell us his intentions. He has shown contempt for the electorate. That’s shameful.

We deserve better.


ABC Story:

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