While the ‘two candidate preferred’ counting continues for the seat of Cowper, incumbent MP Luke Hartsuyker looks set to be returned to the electorate.
If the numbers stack up, this victory will be the sixth straight win for the Nationals’ party member who managed to secure around 52 per cent of the vote so far from a pool of 118,000 registered voters.
When speaking to the Guardian News yesterday, a confident Mr Hartsuyker said he would be delighted to be returned as the Member for Cowper.
“While the tallying continues, I would like to thank people of the electorate who voted for me to represent them for the next three years,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
“I’m determined to fulfill the promises made before and during the election.”
The Nationals’ stellar performance at the polls, gaining one more seat than the previous election, will put the party in a stronger bargaining position, enabling elected members to push their agenda.
Mr Hartsuyker said the implementation of the NSW North Coast Jobs and Investment Package – worth $25 million – would encourage new enterprise to setup in the valley, while providing funding to enable existing businesses to train and up-skill their staff.
“Nambucca Shire Council mayor Rhonda Hoban, general manager Michael Coulter and business development manager Wayne Lowe have been actively encouraging development of industrial land at Macksville, Nambucca and Valla,” he said.
“The North Coast Jobs and Investment Package will unlock the potential of the Nambucca Valley; diversifying the economy, enhancing export opportunities, creating jobs and growing skills in the local community.”
The Nationals’ member also said the opening of the Nambucca to Urunga section of the Pacific Highway upgrade next month would make the valley an even more desirable place to live and work by improving connectivity to larger regional centres.
“The Macksville bypass is also powering along and the approval of the Macksville on-ramps is good news for the local business community and the Macksville Chamber of Commerce and Industry,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
“In terms of business as usual for the next term of Government, I will be working hard to ensure the voice of the bush is heard in halls of Parliament.”