Battle is on for Cowper seat
LUKE Hartsuyker knows he has the political fight of his life on his hands.
The sitting member for Cowper is facing his fourth federal election, knowing this one will be the toughest.
“It will be tight, I don't deny that but neither I nor the Coalition take this seat for granted so we will be working very hard to retain it,” Mr Hartsuyker said yesterday.
Last time round the excitement generated by the Kevin 07 bandwagon resulted in a swing of 5.5 per cent away from Mr Hartsuyker.
The margin in Cowper is now just 1.2 per cent and that not only makes Mr Hartsuyker vulnerable but is guaranteed to make this seat one of the most watched across the nation.
“There isn't the Rudd factor this time around but with the margin as low as it is, I do expect this seat will be watched very closely,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
In recognition of how tight the tussle will be, the 51-year-old father of two spent the first full day of electioneering pressing the flesh of shoppers at Park Beach Plaza after a morning pounding the streets of Maclean and Ulmarra.
“Campaigning is physically very demanding. You are on the go from very early in the morning to late at night and you have to be adaptable because things move at a thousand miles an hour,” he said.
“I am planning on doing one to one and a half hours of exercise every day, either cycling or at the gym, but given it's winter and the sun is slow to get up and quick to set, I don't think I'll be hitting the surf as much as I'd like too.”