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  • Rikki Lambert

NSW politicians farewell Macquarie St 126 days before election

Reverend Fred Nile ends his 42 year parliamentary career

After a week of valedictory speeches including from a record-holder, the NSW parliament will rise with only upper house MPs potentially returning briefly before a 23 March 2023 state election.

Prior to rising, the independent member for Murray, Helen Dalton, celebrated an amendment to MP disclosure requirements forcing them to reveal their water holdings.

Mrs Dalton took office at the last election - then as a Shooters Fishers and Farmers MP and has since split with the party to become an independent. She says she was surprised when taking office that her water holdings were not in the disclosure list:

“I have been fighting for transparency around water ownership for nearly four years and it is no secret that when I first entered politics, I was astounded I had to list every asset I owned except my water.
“This is a huge win for the state and the implications of this amendment will be far reaching.”

Christian Democrat MP Fred Nile, aged 88, concludes his term at this election as he retires after serving in parliament for 42 years, initially for the Call to Australia group. Reverend Nile told parliament on Wednesday:

"My Christian faith, a faith that many of you hold here in this chamber, has guided me in these years."
"I was disappointed to see that abortion was decriminalised in NSW, as was euthanasia."

Whilst Reverend Nile told parliament he regretted spending less time with his family, his wife of 9 years, Silvana aged 64, aiming to succeed him in the parliament. His first wife of 53 years, Elaine, died of cancer in October 2011.

NSW Labor Transport Minister David Elliott is retiring after losing preselection following the abolition of his seat. So too are government ministers Rob Stokes, Victor Dominello, Geoff Lee and Brad Hazzard and NSW Nationals MP Melinda Pavey. Independent MP Justin Field is retiring after quitting the greens in 2019 because "certain individuals made it impossible for me to exist in the Greens party room." Field has pushed back against recent Coalition private forestry reforms to preserve koala numbers in northern NSW.

Mr Hazzard, who will have spent 32 years as an MP when he retires at the March state election, called for reform of NSW's corruption watchdog, saying it has "never worked in the way it should work".


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