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Hartsuyker declares himself eligible to sit in parliament

IN THE CLEAR: Nationals Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker said he was eligible to sit in parliament after allowing his Dutch citizenship to lapse.
IN THE CLEAR: Nationals Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker said he was eligible to sit in parliament after allowing his Dutch citizenship to lapse. Contributed

NATIONALS Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker declared he is no longer a Dutch national and is eligible to sit in Federal Parliament.

"Under Dutch law you may be regarded a national until the age of 28," the Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Mr Hartsuyker said.

"I was older than 28 when I got into parliament, I was 43."

Mr Hartsuyker said the Dutch Embassy in Canberra advised him he was no longer a Dutch National "weeks ago" after taking no action to renew his Dutch nationality.

According to the Government of the Netherlands, Dutch citizens with multiple nationalities who live outside of the Europeans Union for more than 10 years and don't apply for a Dutch passport can automatically lose their Dutch nationality.

Mr Hartsuyker said there was "no documentation" needed to allow his Dutch nationality to lapse.

He said he did not visit the Netherlands until he was 30.

In Mr Hartsuyker's first speech in parliament, he reflected on his Dutch heritage in a comment about the "egalitarian nature" of Australia on February 13, 2002.

"I am the son of a Dutch migrant who came to this country alone at the age of 17 in 1951 with £25 in his pocket, an old guitar and all his other possessions in a toolbox," he said.

"It is a story common to many who have succeeded through self-reliance and hard work.

"Half a century later, he is sitting with my mother, a fourth-generation Australian, in the gallery as I present this speech to the House.

"There are few countries around the world that would provide the same types of opportunities."

Topics:  auspol australian citizenship coffs harbour dutch nationality government of the netherlands luke hartsuyker



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