The longest serving current member of the NSW Parliament, Rev. Fred Nile, yesterday announced his retirement later this year in November from the Legislative Council. He also announced that former Australian Christian Lobby managing director Lyle Shelton would be his successor.

Rev. Nile was first elected in 1981 and this year marks his 40th anniversary serving New South Wales in her Parliament. He was one of a group of Australian Ministers who founded the Christian Democratic Party (CDP) in 1977, settling on the current name in 1998. Shelton’s succession to the leadership of the CDP has been unanimously agreed to by its state board. The agreement of the the state council is yet to be confirmed.

In a release, Rev. Nile enthused:

“I am delighted to be recommending Lyle Shelton as my successor and I am confident this news will be received with great enthusiasm by our Members. The need for unashamedly Christian voices in public life has only increased in recent years and I can think of no one better than Mr Shelton to carry this forward.”

Casual vacancies in the Legislative Council are filled by the nomination of the elected party and the ratification of a special joint sitting of both houses of Parliament.

Lyle Shelton applied to join the LNP in 2019 after, and has since been stonewalled by the Queensland LNP party leadership which has apparently persisted in ignoring his application for membership beyond credible explanation.

With 35 years of failure to win consecutive Queensland elections, members and supporters are growing tired of losing through the failed strategy of compromise and appeasement. Despite claiming to be a “broad church” and as inclusive of hard left “progressives” like Warren Entsch as it is of classical conservatives and liberals, the LNP’s leaders appear to be trying to fend off a grass roots return to the centre right.

Queensland’s loss is now New South Wales’ gain as the seasoned political lobbyist and campaigner relocates South before November to begin helping the CDP prepare for the next state election. Speaking to the Good Sauce today, Lyle Shelton confirmed he would continue contributing regularly on this platform for the foreseeable future. Lyle remarked:

There has never been a greater need for Christian ethics and principles in our parliaments. I am honoured that Rev. Nile and the CDP State Board have recommended that I succeed him in the New South Wales Parliament and lead the party into the future. I look forward to seeking the support of the party’s State Council.

Honouring Rev. Nile’s legacy, Shelton said, “He has been a courageous & often lone voice for Christ’s values in Australian politics over 40 years.”

Dave Pellowe is a Christian writer & commentator, founder of The Good Sauce, convener of the annual Australian Church And State Summit and host of Good Sauce's weekly The Church And State Show, also syndicated on ADH TV. Since 2016 Dave has undertaken the mission of arming Christians to influence culture through events from Perth to Auckland, videos, podcasts and articles published in multiple journals across Australia and New Zealand. [more]

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