Member for Cowper
Luke Hartsuyker was first elected to Parliament as the Federal Member for Cowper in 2001, following the retirement of Garry Nehl.
Luke was born and educated in Muswellbrook and gained a Bachelor of Commerce at Newcastle University. Following his graduation, he pursued a professional career in real estate and institutional property investment and development. He is a member of CPA Australia.
Prior to becoming the Federal Member for Cowper Luke managed his family’s tourism business, ‘The Clog Barn’ in Coffs Harbour.
Luke is very passionate about upgrading of the Pacific Highway, improving our regional health system and creating employment opportunities in his electorate.
He was instrumental in securing $300 million for the Bonville Deviation road upgrade and was heavily involved in the major expansion of the Centrelink Call Centre in Coffs Harbour, which created around 300 jobs. He has also presided over the biggest increase in aged care funding for the North Coast area.
Luke was awarded a Mayoral Commendation for rescues performed during the 1996 Coffs Harbour floods. He is a patron of 11 local organisations, including the Royal Blind Society in Coffs Harbour, the North Coast Cricket Council and the Maclean and Coffs Harbour Historical Societies.
He is married to Irene and they have two sons, Ben and Paul. He is a keen surfer and motorcycle enthusiast.
Since his election to Federal Parliament, Luke has been Chair of the Standing Committee on Education and Vocational Training and was a member of the Standing Committees on Privileges and Procedure. He has also been a member of the Standing Committee on Ageing plus Employment and Workplace Relations.
On his re-election to the Parliament in 2007, Luke was appointed Shadow Minister for Business Development, Independent Contractors and Consumer Affairs and was the Shadow Competition and Consumer Affairs Minister between September 2008 and August 2010. Luke then served as Shadow Minister for Regional Communications and Shadow Minister for Youth and Sport until the 2013 federal election.
Following the return of the Nationals & Liberals to government in 2013, Luke was appointed Assistant Minister for Employment and as the Deputy Leader of the House until the Turnbull Government reshuffle in early 2016.