Chris Hartcher

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Chris Hartcher
Chris Hartcher 03-03-2010.jpg
Minister for Resources and Energy
In office
3 April 2011 – 4 December 2013
Premier Barry O'Farrell
Preceded by Paul Lynch
Succeeded by Anthony Roberts
Special Minister of State
In office
3 April 2011 – 4 December 2013
Preceded by Eric Roozendaal
Succeeded by Anthony Roberts
Minister for the Central Coast
In office
3 April 2011 – 4 December 2013
Preceded by John Robertson
Succeeded by Michael Gallacher
Member of the New South Wales Parliament
for Terrigal
In office
24 March 2007 – 6 March 2015
Preceded by New district
Succeeded by Adam Crouch
Personal details
Born (1946-12-21) 21 December 1946 (age 70)
North Sydney, New South Wales
Nationality Australian
Political party Independent (2013–present)
Other political
affiliations
Liberals (1988–2013)
Residence Wamberal, New South Wales
Profession Solicitor[1]

Christopher "Chris" Peter Hartcher (born 21 December 1946) is an Australian politician. He was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from 1998 to 2015, representing the electorates of Gosford (1988-2007) and Terrigal (2007-2015). He represented the Liberal Party of Australia for most of his career, serving as its deputy state leader from 2002 to 2003, and in the O'Farrell Ministry as Minister for Resources and Energy, Special Minister of State and Minister for the Central Coast. In 2013, he resigned to sit as an independent following his implication in an ongoing Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry, and retired at the 2015 state election.

Early life[edit]

Hartcher was born in North Sydney and was educated at Saint Ignatius' College, Riverview.[2] He received a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sydney. He then worked as a personal injury and family law solicitor employed by his uncle.

Political career[edit]

Hartcher was elected to represent Gosford for the Liberal Party at the 1988 NSW state election. He was appointed Government Whip in 1991 and served in that role until 1992.[3] On 3 July 1992, Hartcher was appointed to the NSW Cabinet as Minister for the Environment and left the Cabinet with the defeat of the Fahey Government in March 1995.[3]

NSW Opposition[edit]

After the 1995 election, Hartcher was appointed to a number of shadow ministerial portfolios, spending a combined seven years as Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations and four years as Shadow Attorney General in the Shadow Ministry of Barry O'Farrell.

On 28 March 2002 he was elected as deputy opposition leader under John Brogden until the 2003 state election.[3] Former Premier Bob Carr was often Hartcher's political "sparring partner", a relationship Carr referred to as "good natured fun".[4] Carr nicknamed Hartcher the The Swamp Fox – an irreverent reference to US War of Independence guerrilla commander, Francis Marion – to suggest Hartcher would challenge Brogden for leadership of the party.[5]

At the 2003 election Hartcher was challenged in the seat of Gosford by Labor candidate Deborah O'Neill and won by only 272 votes.[6] After narrowly retaining Gosford, Hartcher decided to step down as Deputy Liberal Leader.

In 2006, New South Wales Legislative Assembly seats were subject to an electoral redistribution. The seat of Peats was abolished and the majority of the area was redistributed into a newly created seat of Gosford. The majority of the former seat of Gosford was redistributed into the new electoral district of Terrigal. Hartcher was again challenged by O'Neill but was elected Member for Terrigal on 24 March 2007. O'Neill was later elected as the Member for Robertson at the 2010 Federal Election.

In 2010, Hartcher was endorsed as the Liberal Party's candidate for Terrigal ahead of the 2011 election. He was elected with a swing of 11.1 points, and won the seat with 74.1 per cent of the two-party vote.[7] His main opponent was Labor's Trevor Drake.

O'Farrell Government[edit]

On 3 April 2011, Hartcher was appointed by Premier Barry O'Farrell to the Cabinet as Minister for Resources and Energy, Special Minister of State and Minister for the Central Coast.[8]

He resigned from Cabinet on 4 December 2013 after the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) raided his office.[9][10] In February 2014, the ICAC commenced investigating allegations of electoral funding irregularities.[11] In response to the inquiry, Hartcher, and fellow MPs Chris Spence and Darren Webber, stood aside from the parliamentary party, even though they had just renominated for their seats, to sit as independents.[12] With a final report not due before the 2015 election campaign, Hartcher, Spence and Webber chose to retire and not contest the next election.

On 30 August 2016, the ICAC released its report into the investigation into illegal developer donations. It found that Hartcher had "Acted with the intention of evading laws banning political donations from property developers, cap donations and requiring the disclosure of donation" and also recommended that the Director of Public Prosecutions charge Hartcher with larceny.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Hartcher is married with three sons.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Chris Hartcher". Chris Hartcher. Retrieved 12 February 2010. 
  2. ^ "Motor Accident Compensation Amebdnebt (Terrorism) Bill" (PDF). Hansard. Parliament of New South Wales. 12 November 2003. 
  3. ^ a b c "Mr (Chris) Christopher Peter Hartcher, MP". Members of Parliament. Parliament of New South Wales. Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2010. 
  4. ^ "Carr defends Lib leadership taunts". ABC News. Australia. 15 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "Questions Without Notice: Malabar Police Station" (PDF). Hansard. Parliament of New South Wales. 3 April 2001. p. 13019. Retrieved 30 April 2011. 
  6. ^ "Terrigal – NSW 2011". The Tally Room: Elections and politics in Australia and around the world. Ben Raue. 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2011. 
  7. ^ Green, Antony (5 April 2011). "Terrigal". NSW Votes 2011. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 30 April 2011. 
  8. ^ "New faces in Barry O'Farrell's Cabinet". The Australian. AAP. 3 April 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2011. 
  9. ^ "Chris Hartcher resigns from NSW cabinet over ICAC inquiry". Sydney Morning Herald. 4 December 2013. 
  10. ^ "Energy Minister Chris Hartcher resigns after ICAC raid on his offices". Daily Telegraph. 4 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "Public notice". NSW members of parliament – corruption allegations concerning soliciting, receiving and concealing payments – (Operation Spicer). Independent Commission Against Corruption. 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2014. , link no longer available
  12. ^ Chris Hartcher, Darren Webber and Chris Spence step down from Liberal Party amid corruption claims. ABC News, 2014-02-19.
  13. ^ http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/08/30/07/33/corruption-watchdog-reportedly-tells-former-nsw-liberal-mps-to-repay-illegal-donations

External links[edit]

Parliament of New South Wales
Preceded by
Brian McGowan
Member for Gosford
1988–2007
Succeeded by
Marie Andrews
New district Member for Terrigal
2007–2015
Succeeded by
Adam Crouch
Political offices
Preceded by
Bruce Baird
Minister for the Environment
1992–1995
Succeeded by
Pam Allan
Preceded by
Paul Lynch
Minister for Resources and Energy
2011–2013
Succeeded by
Anthony Roberts
Preceded by
Eric Roozendaal
Special Minister of State
2011–2013
Succeeded by
Anthony Roberts
Preceded by
John Robertson
Minister for the Central Coast
2011–2013
Succeeded by
Michael Gallacher
Party political offices
Preceded by
Barry O'Farrell
Deputy Leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party
2002–2003
Succeeded by
Barry O'Farrell