Hartsuyker: 'No rift' with new Nationals leader

Luke Hartsuyker said his job is to "represent my local area to the best of my ability".
Luke Hartsuyker said his job is to "represent my local area to the best of my ability". Trevor Veale

COWPER MP Luke Hartsuyker has put to rest speculation he has had a falling out with new Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce.

Mr Hartsuyker missed out on the deputy leadership of the party and only 48 hours was dumped from the frontbench team selected by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Despite the downturn in his personal political capital, Mr Hartsuyker said he's looking forward to working for the new leadership team of Mr Joyce and deputy leader Senator Fiona Nash.

"There's certainly no rift, I think our leadership team is going to provide very strong leadership going forward," Mr Hartsuyker said.

"Politics is a rough and tumble business so I have to get down, get into it and represent my local area to the best of my ability, which I've been doing for 14 years."

Mr Hartsuyker will face a different constituency at the next election with Cowper losing the Coffs Coast's northern beaches to Page in an electoral boundary change while also incorporating Port Macquarie from the seat of Lyne.

The possibility of being the elected representative in Canberra for two regional centres is one that Mr Hartsuyker sees a lot of potential in.

"Clearly there is some competitive tension between Port and Coffs, they are large and vibrant growing regional cities," Mr Hartsuyker said.

"I see it as a potential positive that we can be a centre for growth.

"An electorate that includes both Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie will be the focus of a tension going forward by virtue of the fact that there is so much activity going on, so much growth going on.

"There is a misconception that somehow having two major cities in one electorate will mean both cities get less - that is simply wrong, governments allocate funding where the growth is - we'll be attracting more funds not less."

Topics:  barnaby joyce cabinet reshuffle cowper fiona nash luke hartsuyker malcolm turnbull nationals

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