During the election, we learnt The Nationals burned through around $750,000 to keep Luke Hartsuyker in his seat. Today we learnt that immediately after that very expensive campaign, he threatened to leave The Nationals, and he used that threat as leverage in the new barely-a-majority government. 

Now, he could have used this leverage on securing a hospital, a road, or a school for his electorate, but instead, he used it for his own personal gain. Hartsuyker spat the dummy, and the community got nothing.

Today's news that he was considering becoming an Independent MP (the irony) just days after being elected shows his entire campaign platform - that Independent MPs apparently cause chaos and dysfunction - was a hollow one. The voters of the region, and also the loyal National Party members themselves, have every right to ask what Luke Hartsuyker actually stands for, apart from his own promotion to the Ministry.

The Coalition had no plan to give Luke Hartsuyker a portfolio in this parliament, but when he threatened to walk unless he was given a position in Cabinet, the Prime Minister caved and gave him the title ‘Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister’ in order to protect the Coalition's slender majority. 

What a selfish use of political leverage. Cowper deserves an MP who will fight for the community, instead of lobbying for his own advancement.

It’s highly likely Mr Hartsuyker will do everything he can to avoid talking about this story over the coming days. Instead, he’ll continue to play his politics behind closed doors and out of the public eye, as he always does.