Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker.
Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker.

Labor calls on Hartsuyker to prove his eligibility as an MP

FEDERAL Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker has been asked to prove his eligibility to sit in Federal Parliament given his Dutch family ancestry.

Andrew Woodward, the president of the ALP's Bellinger Valley branch has written a letter to Mr Hartsuyker formally asking for him to confirm his past and present citizenship status.

Although born in Muswellbrook, Mr Hartsuyker is the 'son of a Dutch migrant' as he has previously stated in Federal Parliament.

Mr Woodward said although his late mother was born in Australia, he questioned whether Mr Hartsuyker had renounced his Dutch citizenship.

 

Labor spokesmen for Cowper Andrew Woodward.
Labor spokesmen for Cowper Andrew Woodward. Rachel Vercoe

"Your assertion that the Australian citizenship of your late mother negates any eligibility issue appears, on the face of it, at odds with an official document of the Netherlands Embassy in Australia which states: 'The child of a Dutch father acquires... Dutch citizenship at birth. It is irrelevant where the child is born or whether the child acquires other citizenships at birth'," Mr Woodward asked in the letter.

"Given the complexities of the issue, your family heritage and to remove any doubt, I urge you to make a detailed statement on the matter and release any (and all) related documentation to support your position."

Mr Woodward has called on the Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister to provide documentation to support his assertion that he is eligible to sit as a member of parliament, to prove that he has renounced the Dutch citizenship he was granted at birth and to clarify whether he has had any formal correspondence with the Netherlands Government prior to or since entering parliament in 2001 regarding his citizenship.

Mr Hartsuyker has been contacted this morning for comment.


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