Rev. Fred Nile has been in parliament for over 34 years, and as leader of the Christian Democratic party he says he is often misquoted and misunderstood.
Whilst on the campaign trail, Rev. Nile spoke exclusively to El Telegraph Weekend about what his party stands for and what he thinks is the right political direction for Australia.
“I have often been interviewed by journalists who report with bias, who often misconstrue what I say. For example, I am against homosexuals promoting their sexuality to children but I have never said that I hate homosexuals and sadly that is a headline I have seen. The truth is we don’t hate anyone.
“We don’t hate Moslems but we’re not comfortable with Sharia Law and Halal food being imposed on our society. We don’t hate homosexuals. We just don’t want these minority groups to impose their views on our society.”
Rev. Nile said he has been under attack by many members of the mainstream media and just recently a Fairfax article questioned Rev. Nile’s place in Australian politics. But he says he is not fazed by the criticism.
“With 160,000 number one votes to be in parliament, plus our other party candidates getting votes, there is clearly a place for us in Australian politics. The city newspaper might think we are an atheist country but we are not, the last Australian census tells us that 61% of Australians are affiliated with a Christian religion. So that’s their (the journalists) personal view and they should be more neutral when commenting on society.”
As the longest serving member of the New South Wales parliament, Rev. Nile continues to influence legislation and policy. He currently holds a balance-of-power and could be a potential major roadblock to the Baird government’s electricity privatisation policy, with some suggesting that he could become president of the NSW upper house to get the policy over the line.
“I will consider the privatisation policy after a full parliament inquiry into electricity leasing but I will not be bribed into accepting the policy with any title. I want what’s best for New South Wales,” he said.
His party has also called for a five-year moratorium on the exploration and mining of Coal Seam Gas in New South Wales on the basis that it could be harmful to the environment and contaminate our water.
“We are on the brink of being irrevocably damaged by the effect of CSG and more scientific investigations need to be done on this matter, especially since other countries have reported earth tremors that may be associated with this type of mining,” he said.
First elected into the Legislative Council in 1981, Rev. Nile continues to comment on an array of topical issues but he is unwavering in his Christian beliefs and shrugs off any suggestions that his views may seem old-fashioned. With over 93 Christian Democratic party candidates running at the NSW election, including Rev. Nile himself, who is likely to be elected into parliament for another eight-year term – it seems the 80-year-old continues to find a place in modern Australian politics.