Hartsuyker fighting on after missing deputy role

Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker nominated to be deputy leader of the Nationals in the leadership ballot but didn't get enough votes in the party room to win the position.
Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker nominated to be deputy leader of the Nationals in the leadership ballot but didn't get enough votes in the party room to win the position. Trevor Veale

WHILE most of the political commentary this morning is on the new National Party leadership team, there are some within the party room left a little disappointed.

A number of party members unsuccessfully nominated themselves for the role of deputy leader of the Nationals including Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker.

Mr Hartsuyker said the new leadership team of Barnaby Joyce and Fiona Nash has his full support but he did admit to some disappointment at not being elected to the deputy role by his colleagues.

"If you go to nominate for any position you do so because you wish to fulfill that role and quite clearly there's personal disappointment in not achieving that," Mr Hartsuyker said.

"But I've been in Parliament a long time and it's a pretty brutal business and it's won on the numbers."

The Cowper MP said each person who nominated for the deputy leader position was given three minutes to speak on why they believe they should be elected before a secret ballot was held.

In the party room he pointed out his experience since first being elected in 2001. He outlined his eight years as a Minister and opposition spokesperson pointing out the development of the mobile phone black spots policy, the Job Active program, Work For The Dole and the work he's doing in his current role including the introduction of the VET-fee help Bill. 

"I've done a fair bit and I put that case but my colleagues chose Fiona Nash and that's democracy," he said.

Mr Hartsuyker said now wasn't the time to dwell on his own personal ambitions being thwarted but the time to look forward with a new leadership team in an election year.

"I think it (the new leadership) presents a different face of the Nationals and I think it stands us in good stead to represent the interests of regional and rural Australia into the future," he said.

Topics:  barnaby joyce cowper fiona nash luke hartsuyker national party nationals

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