.@luke_hartsuyker should be referred to the High Court to confirm his eligibility to be in Parliament #cowper #auspol

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Statement by Andrew Woodward, President.

6 November 2017

Luke Hartsuyker still has questions to answer over dual citizenship and his eligibility to sit in Parliament

The eligibility of the Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, to sit in Parliament continues to be in question following a series of inconsistent statements and unanswered questions concerning his potential dual Dutch – Australian Citizenship.

Since concerns were first raised by Labor in his electorate of Cowper in August, Mr Hartsuyker has failed to formally answer a written request for information, nor has he made a statement in Parliament, amplifying concerns about his eligibility.

Further, in recent weeks Mr Hartsuyker has made some untruthful and misleading comments about the Coffs Harbour Pacific Highway Bypass and the bungled completion of the Pacific Highway between Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie, heightening concerns about the integrity of his statements on the public record. This led to a re-examination of his comments on the citizenship matter and glaring inconsistencies were discovered.

Family matters must be handled with the utmost sensitivity and respect. However, this is a question of law and Mr Hartsuyker has spoken often of his Dutch heritage. Thus, he and his party have put this issue in the public domain. In losing the Deputy Prime Minister and leaders in both houses, the National Party’s sloppy administration has made Australia an international embarrassment.

Given the recent ruling by the High Court, the findings against sitting parliamentarians (Barnaby Joyce, Fiona Nash and Malcolm Roberts) and Mr Hartsuyker’s avoidance of formally responding, the issue won’t be resolved until confirmed by a third party. The third party in this case is the High Court and Mr Hartsuyker should ask the Speaker of the Parliament to refer his case to the High Court. If the court rules he is eligible, so be it – case closed. While Labor Leader Bill Shorten has put forward a positive proposal to deal with the government’s citizenship crisis, this should not preclude Mr Hartsuyker from acting immediately.

A question can’t continue to remain over his eligibility. Should Mr Hartsuyker not contest the next Federal Election, as is being speculated, Mr Hartsuyker in normal circumstances would be entitled to the ‘generous’ parliamentary superannuations benefit. His entitlement to this benefit is in question until his eligibility is confirmed. If eligible, Mr Hartsuyker stands to benefit from the previous scheme as he entered Parliament in 2001. The scheme was changed in 2004 to align with wider community superannuation scheme standards.

In August 2017, Bellinger River Labor asked numerous questions of Mr Hartsuyker:

  1. What is the basis for your assertion on NBN News on 27 July 2017 concerning your eligibility? Can you provide any documentation to support your assertion? If yes, please provide all details and all related documentation.
  2. As you obtained Dutch citizenship at birth, when did you renounce it or under which circumstances did you lose it and when? Please provide all details and all related documentation.
  3. Have you had any formal correspondence with the Netherlands Government prior to or since entering parliament in 2001 concerning your citizenship of the Netherlands through birth? If yes, please provide all details and all related documentation between you, your representatives and the Dutch Government and or their representatives.

Mr Hartsuyker was sent a letter on 13 August 2017 and has not responded to it in nearly three months. Nor has he made any statement in Parliament on the matter.

Since the matter was first raised three months ago, Mr Hartsuyker himself or through a spokesperson has made a number of inconsistent statements:

  1. NBN (27 July 2017) simply said, in essence, as he has one Australian parent and one Dutch parent, there is no issue.
  2. Coffs Harbour Advocate (14 August 2017) said he lost the right to dual citizenship when he was 28 (twenty-eight). Inconsistent with point one and four.
  3. Coffs Harbour Advocate (14 August 2017) said the Dutch Embassy in Canberra advised him “weeks ago”. Verbally or in writing? Is there a letter or file note?
  4. ABC (15 August 2017) said he lost the right to dual citizenship when he was 25 (twenty-five). Inconsistent with points one and two.
  5. Sky News (15 August 2017) admitted he visited the Netherlands when he was 30, raising the question does entering the country immediately re-install dual citizenship or rights as occurs with some other nations?
  6. Daily Telegraph (23 August 2017) said there were no documents to prove he didn’t have dual citizenship. Possibly inconsistent with point three.

In summary:

  • Mr Hartsuyker has refused to answer questions, make a statement in parliament or release documents.
  • Mr Hartsuyker has two different explanations of his status – one angle is because he has one Australian parent it was never an issue and the second explanation said he had it but lost it in his twenties.
  • Mr Hartsuyker has two different ages he said he lost it at – 25 and 28.
  • Was Mr Hartsuyker’s dual citizenship re-installed when he visited the Netherlands when he was 30?
  • Mr Hartsuyker said he received advice from the Dutch Embassy in Canberra and a week later a spokesperson says there are no documents to say he isn’t a dual citizen.

In FarmOnline on 15 August 2017, Mr Hartsuyker said of the Barnaby Joyce matter: “We’re certainly confident the High Court will find in favour of the Deputy Prime Minister“. We know how that ended – in a by-election costing $2 million – all because Barnaby Joyce broke the law.

There’s too much inconsistency in Mr Hartsuyker’s statements to allow this to pass unquestioned. Further, the advice the government was working to was proven incorrect and we now have the benefit of the High Court’s ruling of the ‘Citizenship Seven” – soon to become eight with former Senator Parry and possibly more.

Mr Hartsuyker should ask the Speaker of the House to refer this matter to the High Court for ruling and settle the matter once and for all.

ENDS


2. Sources

NBN News, 27 July 2017

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Coffs Harbour Advocate, 14 August 2017

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ABC Mid North Coast, 15 August 2017

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Sky News, 15 August 2017

In fact, I never visited the Netherlands until I was 30,” Luke Hartsuyker, Sky News, 15 August 2017

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Farmonline, 15 August 2017

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Daily Telegraph, 23 August 2017

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3. Background – Statement and research released 12 August 2017 and email of 13 August 2017

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Post: Is @luke_hartsuyker eligible to sit in parliament due to citizenship issues? Questions need answering. #cowper #auspol 

Screenshot of unanswered letter delivered by email to Mr Hartsuyker of 13 August 2017

 

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Search of Hansard of “Hartsuyker AND Dutch” conducted 4 November 2017

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4. Background – Labor’s position (3 November 2017)

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Updated: 4 November 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

News Release: @luke_hartsuyker confirms #Pacific Highway bungle and blames government cash flow problem #cowper

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Statement by President, Andrew Woodward, 3 November 2017

HARTSUYKER CONFIRMS PACIFIC HIGHWAY BUNGLE AND BLAMES GOVERNMENT CASH FLOW PROBLEM

The Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, has dropped an embarrassing clanger in trying to explain the bungle that won’t see the Pacific Highway upgrade between Port and Coffs opened before Christmas.

The $830 million Warrell Creek to Nambucca Heads upgrade of the Pacific Highway was due to open before Christmas, bypassing Macksville and Nambucca Heads thus preventing lengthy traffic jams of holiday motorists.

In a response to yesterday’s news in the Coffs Harbour Advocate,  Mr Hartsuyker:

  1. Confirmed the project won’t open on schedule, as promised and as promoted saying: “Macksville should be opened for Christmas, the Warrell Creek end won’t be“.
  2. Confirmed there was an administrative bungle between the federal and state governments that had slowed the project down: ‘stages of highway construction depended on government cash-flow‘.
  3. Cited the availability of contractors, which defies belief, and non-existent weather issues as potential sources of delay.

It is outrageous, embarrassing and alarming for Mr Hartsuyker to confess that the Turnbull and Berejiklian Governments couldn’t deliver the cash to have this critical infrastructure project delivered on time and as repeatedly promised.

Luke Hartsuyker is making things up as he goes along. He’s clearly got no idea when it comes to delivering major projects on the Pacific Highway.


Background

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Resources

Coffs Harbour Advocate


Updated: 3 November 2017

 

News Release: Santa Claus will have a slow ride on the Pacific Highway between Port and Coffs this Christmas.u

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Statement by President, Andrew Woodward

2 November 2017

SANTA CLAUS WILL HAVE A SLOW RIDE ON THE PACIFIC HIGHWAY BETWEEN PORT AND COFFS THIS CHRISTMAS

The Federal and NSW Governments appear to have bungled the crucial pre-Christmas completion of a key piece of national infrastructure as the Pacific Highway upgrade between Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie won’t be completed by the end of the year as promised.

The Federal Government yesterday (Wednesday, 1 November 2017) confirmed the Warrell Creek to Nambucca Heads project “is expected to open in the coming months”. The $830 million project is jointly funded by the Commonwealth and NSW Governments and for three years has been scheduled for a late 2017 opening, as confirmed in numerous statements from both governments.

This critical piece of infrastructure will reduce accidents and human trauma, increase amenity and improve travel times. The merits of the project are not in question. The issue is that this ‘missing link’ is running late with no explanation for the bungle from either government.

Further compounding the bungle is the Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, continually talking up the completion of the project, knowing full well that it wasn’t going to open this year as promised. Last week he was caught out in Senate Estimates on the Coffs Harbour bypass. Now he’s been sprung on the this project. Luke Hartsuyker’s nose is growing at a faster rate the Pacific Highway construction program.

The statement by the Federal Minister is inconsistent with current and previous statements by Mr Hartsuyker and the NSW Government:

  • According to documentation online yesterday (1 November 2017) from the Roads and Maritime Authority of NSW, the project was due for completion by the end of 2017.
  • The Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker told the Nambucca Guardian on 22 August 2017 that ‘the project is going great guns after being blessed with perfect weather’. The paper said “The bypass of Macksville and Nambucca Heads is being prioritised in order to help manage traffic during the Christmas holidays.”
  • In December last year just before 20 kilometre long – one hour plus traffic jams where motorists waited in summer heat at Macksville, the then NSW Minister for Roads, Duncan Gay, said “It’s the last year of Macksville traffic jams”.
  • In November last year, Mr Hartsuyker in a News Release said: “The bridge is part of the Warrell Creek to Nambucca Heads section of the Pacific Highway upgrade, which is on track to open to traffic in late 2017.

Neither government is any position to blame the weather for construction delays. According to the Bureau of Meteorology, October’s heavier than usual rains did not make up for the second driest winter on record in NSW.

Mr Chester and Mr Hartsuyker must immediately confirm the expected completion date of the project, that is when vehicles of all types will be able to travel on all four lanes (or more) at the one time of the new section of the highway. If it isn’t open by the end of 2017 they must immediately explain why and provide an estimated date as to when general traffic can use all four lanes of the highway at the same time.

The Federal and New South Wales Government’s should accept full responsibility for this bungle. They should apologise to the people of people of the north coast as well as the hundreds of thousands of holiday makers who will be stuck in traffic jams lasting hours either side of Kempsey and Macksville at the height of what’s promised to be one of the hottest summers on record.

Both government’s must soon have in place plans to assist motorists plan cope with the traffic jams between Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie over the Christmas New Year period. These plans should be disclosed in public forums for urgent community feedback by the end of November. The reputation of the NSW North Coast is at stake due to this bungle.


Background

1. Bureau of Meteorology

  • Rainfall for New South Wales was 86 per cent below the monthly average, making it the driest September on record for the State.”  BOM re July to September
  • “Following on from a dry end to winter, the July to September period is now the second driest on record, with rainfall over the past three months 65 per cent below the average”
  • “Much of northern New South Wales received above average rainfall, resulting in the wettest October since 2010 for the State as a whole and reducing rainfall deficits that have emerged there in recent months” BOM re October

2. Darren Chester News Release, 1 November 2017

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3. RMS web site, 1 November 2017

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4. RMS web site,1 November 2017

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5. Luke Hartsuyker in Nambucca Gardian, 22 August 2017

Screen Shot 2017-11-02 at 8.09.56 am.png6. ABC on 14 December 2016

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7. Luke Hartsuyker News Release, 18 November 2016

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Additional information


Updated: 2 November 2017

Luke Hartsuyker has a truth bypass over the Coffs Harbour Bypass

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BELLINGER RIVER BRANCH, AUSTRALIAN LABOR

Statement by Andrew Woodward, President

24 October 2017

LUKE HARTSUYKER HAS A TRUTH BYPASS OVER THE COFFS HARBOUR BYPASS

The Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, has let fly with a mind boggling and embarrassing response to confirmation that the Coffs Harbour Bypass is not on the federal government’s construction program.

A senior public servant yesterday in response to Labor questions told Senate Estimates that there was no start date, no business case, no plan, no estimated cost and no allocated funding for the Coffs Harbour Bypass. The transcript speaks for itself (and can be watched on the Coffs Harbour Advocate web site).

Today, in the Coffs Harbour Advocate, Mr Hartsuyker accused Labor’s Anthony Albanese of being ‘fast and loose with the truth’ when sharing facts from the Senate Estimates  hearing. An inspection of the transcript confirms Mr Albanese’s account of the exchange.

Once again, we have Luke Hartsuyker doing a truth bypass on the Coffs Harbour bypass. He needs to be honest and confess to misleading the people of Cowper. He’s been caught out, once again.

After 16 years in the job and nothing to show for it on the bypass, he’s reverted to just making things up about it. The truth is he’s had nothing more than than informal chats with others about the project and it hasn’t reached the stage of formal evaluation by Canberra.

Mr Hartsuyker repeatedly gives every indication the Coffs Harbour Bypass is a priority for the Government:

  • Coffs Harbour Advocate, 24 October 2017: ‘He wants the bypass to start’ “as quickly as possible”.
  • Coffs Harbour Advocate, 23 April 2017: “Mr Hartsuyker said he can’t say with any certainty what is in or out of the budget but he’s confident that when Scott Morrison reveals this country’s economic and fiscal outlook, including expenditure and revenue estimates for the current financial year, the budget year and three forward financial years, any funds set aside for the project Coffs Harbour has waited more than a generation for will be hidden.”
  • News Release: 23 March 2016: “The Coffs Harbour Bypass is a step closer…”.
  • News Release: 23 October 2015: “Construction of the Coffs Harbour Bypass will…”

I would take the word of senior public servant over Luke Hartsuyker any day. What’s worse, is that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull played along with Luke Hartsuyker’s silly charade when he visited in September.

Both Mr Turnbull and Mr Hartsuyker knew the truth; mislead the people of Cowper with fancy word-work and gave the impression that this was a priority project. The facts presented in Senate Estimates are unambiguous and prove it isn’t even a formal project.

Mr Hartsuyker needs to stop bypassing the truth about the bypass and be honest with the people of Cowper.


Resources #1

Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee

23 October 2017, Canberra, Partial Transcript. Source CCA

Senator: Can you please advise if the Federal Government has seen a detailed plan for the Coffs Harbour Bypass.

DTRD Official (Sarah Leeming): “We have not Senator. There hasn’t been a formal approach to the Australian Government for funding for the Coffs Harbour Bypass.”

Senator: “Is there any discussion about a commencement date”?

DTRD Official: “It is a bit premature. A logical time to do that is around 2020. If there was a decision to fund it”.


Resources #2

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Resources #3


Update 26 October 2017

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Updated: 26 October 2017

 

 

News: NSW State by-elections paint ugly picture for NSW North Coast Nationals

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NSW State by-elections paint ugly picture for NSW North Coast Nationals

Statement by Andrew Woodward, President, Bellingen River Labor, Sunday, 15 October 2017

“The two rural state by-elections in NSW at the weekend paint an ugly picture for the Nationals on the north coast.

“Certainly, by-elections always swing harder but this was above the norm – 10 per cent in Cootamunda to Labor and nearly 20 per cent in Murray.

“And these results come just days after the latest Newspoll showing support for the federal government in the regions has fallen from 44 to 34 per cent since last year’s election.

“The federal and NSW Nationals are in free-fall. This is an ominous warning to complacent federal and state nationals on the mid-north and Coffs Coast.

“They’re on track to lose two of their three north coast federal seats and the seat of the NSW Roads Minister, Melinda Pavey, has moved from the safe to the marginal column.

“They keep telling us they get the message. They don’t. They will get it full force on their election days.”


Resources

Swings against Nationals (TPP)

  • Murray – 19.6% to SFP
  • Cootamundra – 10.1% to Labor

Federal Seats – National Margin

  • Page 2.3%
  • Cowper 4.5%
  • Lyne 11.6%

State Seats – Nations Margin

  • Oxley 11%
  • Coffs Harbour 14%
  • Port Macquarie 19%

Newspoll