Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker is refusing to comment on national press reports that he could retire prior to the next federal election.
The reports even suggested the long-serving member's retirement call would be 'as early as today' (Monday, July 30).
A spokesperson for Mr Hartsuyker’s office says the MP is refusing to comment on the speculation.
"There is no comment from Luke on the matter," the spokesperson said.
The speculation surfaced following the Coalition's poor showing in the weekend's Super Saturday by-elections.
Labor held onto all four of its contested seats while Rebekha Sharkie held off a challenge from Georgina Downer for the South Australian seat of Mayo.
That poor showing appears to have put the spotlight on Coalition held seats, particularly in Queensland and northern NSW where the sitting members’ margins are less than the increased poll results for Labor in the by-elections.
And that is where Mr Hartsuyker's future is currently front and centre in the national debate.
The sitting MP currently holds a 4.6 per cent buffer in Cowper.
A federal election will be held by May 2019.
Former independent member Rob Oakeshott has not officially confirmed he will contest the next federal election for Cowper.
The only candidate to date who has officially announced the intention to run against Hartsuyker is Labor’s Andrew Woodward of Bellingen.
Mr Oakeshott was a late entry into the 2016 election, with Mr Hartsuyker returning 54.56 per cent of the vote on two candidate preferred compared with 45.44 per cent for Mr Oakeshott.
Despite the close contest and conceding defeat, Mr Oakeshott has maintained a watch on Mr Hartsuyker’s performance in Cowper and the key issues affecting the electorate since the 2016 election result was declared.
Mr Oakeshott won the federal seat of Lyne from the Nationals in 2008 at a by-election.
The seat was held by the Country/Nationals for almost half a century since its inception in 1949 and was vacated by the resignation of former deputy prime minister Mark Vaile.
He served five years as the federal member before announcing his retirement in 2013. In that time he delivered more than $1.2 billion in federal funds to the electorate.
The Port News has contacted Mr Oakeshott for comment.
Mr Hartsuyker has served as the electorate's Canberra representative since 2001.
Prior to becoming the Federal Member for Cowper, Luke managed his family’s tourism business in Coffs Harbour.