By Darren Coyne
History shows that the state’s Labor politicians have been corrupted by greed; their Liberal successors plagued by stupidity.
So says the Reverend Fred Nile, the longest-serving member of the NSW Legislative Council, and founder of the Christian Democrat Party.
Rev Nile was in Lismore on Friday to meet with mayor Jenny Dowell and Ballina mayor David Wright, both Labor members, and to announce CDP candidates for the upcoming state election.
He did not meet with sitting Nationals member Thomas George, who he said should have retired when he had the chance, or retiring Ballina MP Don Page.
Rev Nile told Echonetdaily the meeting with the mayors was ‘positive’, with topics ranging from coal seam gas, environmental threats, and social issues such as unemployment and homelessness.
Mayor Dowell later posted on social media that she was ‘very pleased to hear Rev Nile say that his party does not support CSG or fracking.
‘In this Parliament Rev Nile holds an important position having the balance of power in the upper house so his views on unconventional gas mining are important.
‘I was pleased to show him the road declarations in my office and tell him about our 87 per cent support for a gasfield free LGA.
‘Rev Nile’s views on marriage, same sex relationships and his statements about “being a man” (Sydney seige) were not discussed.’
Meanwhile, Rev Nile took a swipe at the National Party, saying he was amazed that the party, once representative of country people, had allowed the local infrastructure such as railway network to disintegrate.
He was also a tad bemused that the once conservative party has two homosexual candidates, and could not fathom why they would risk prime agricultural land for coal seam gas when so much gas was being shipped to China.
And while he reckoned it was the ‘greedy’ Labor mob making millions from mining deals now causing angst across the state, it was the ‘stupid’ Liberals who were suckered in with free wine and other silliness.
Greed versus stupidity… either way, you can rest assured according to the veteran firebrand, that the major parties are riddled with corruption.
That’s why he believes Lismore city councilor, Gianpero Battista, is in with a fighting chance in the upcoming state election.
Despite the 2011 CDP candidate Margaret Kay polling just over one per cent of the vote, Rev Nile said Cr Battista had increased his popularity at the previous Lismore city council election by 28 per cent, and had developed a good reputation among Lismore voters.
(Greens candidate Adam Guise, who stood shoulder to shoulder with Bentley farmers protesting CSG, and whose party polled the second most primary votes in Lismore at the previous election, might disagree)
Besides Cr Battista, Rev Nile said his party would be fielding the largest number of candidates across the state, with Vyvien Scott contesting Ballina, and Bethany McAlpine running in the Tweed electorate.
As for preferences, he said that would be decided closer to the election.