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Reverend Fred Nile to retire from NSW politics, names Lyle Shelton as successor

ABC NEWS logo ABC NEWS 12/04/2021 By state political reporter Ashleigh Raper
Fred Nile wearing a suit and tie looking at the camera: Reverend Fred Nile will retire from NSW Parliament after almost 40 years in politics. (ABC News: Jerry Rickard) © Provided by ABC NEWS Reverend Fred Nile will retire from NSW Parliament after almost 40 years in politics. (ABC News: Jerry Rickard)

Christian Democrat Fred Nile has announced he will retire from the New South Wales parliament this year, after nearly 40 years in politics.

The 86-year-old has also chosen his replacement to be Lyle Shelton, the former managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby.

Mr Shelton is from Queensland and rose to prominence as leader in the "no" campaign in the 2017 same-sex marriage vote.

Reverend Nile said he was "delighted to be recommending Lyle Shelton as my successor".  

"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." 

Reverend Nile founded the Christian Democratic Party (CDP) more than 20 years ago, after already serving two terms in the New South Wales Upper House.

He was first elected to the Upper House in 1981.

The Christian Democrats currently hold only one seat and Reverend Nile's vote is often relied upon by the government in the Upper House where there isn't a majority.

Mr Shelton said he was "honoured" to succeed Reverend Nile "and lead the party into the future".

"There has never been a greater need for Christian ethics and principles in our parliaments," he said.

Reverend Nile will retire in November.

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