Salvation is often on the mind of Rev Hon Fred Nile MLC. It’s one of the things the Christian Church does best.
It’s also one of the reasons why the Reverend is a passionate supporter of preserving the heritage of this nation. So it’s no surprise the holder of the balance of power in NSW’s Upper House has added his voice to others, like comedian and TV presenter Tim Ross, who are calling for redemption on behalf of social housing clients.
Fred Nile was born and raised on the streets of Kings Cross, the son of a taxi driver and waitress, who both worked in Kings Cross. Remembering his roots, Rev Nile and his wife, Silvana, took time out to march through the streets in support of salvation right in the heart of Sydney – in particular, the elderly Miller’s Point residents supporting Sydney’s Sirius building.
It’s been a busy week in the Nile household. Rev Nile had a car accident and applied for Mark Latham’s old job on Sky News in addition to his parliamentary duties. His wife, Silvana, is busy campaigning for the seat of North Shore in tomorrow’s by-election.
But the Nile’s are never too busy for matters of salvation. And so it was in Parliament on Tuesday, when Rev Nile hoped for the Premier’s repentance and called on the Government to redeem the building to provide social housing:
Reverend the Hon. FRED NILE (14:58:24): I direct my question to the Leader of the House, representing the Premier. Is it a fact that Lendlease Pty Limited has been required to provide affordable housing in return for its development approval at Barangaroo? Will the Government therefore negotiate with Lendlease to restore the Sirius affordable housing complex to provide accommodation for elderly tenants at Millers Point, Sydney, who are being evicted from their terrace units by the Government?
The Hon. DON HARWIN (Minister for Resources, Minister for Energy and Utilities, and Minister for the Arts) (14:59 :10): I thank Reverend the Hon. Fred Nile for that question. I cannot say that I know all the details of the contractual arrangements between Lend Lease and the State Government in relation to the Barangaroo project. They are, of course, not within my portfolio responsibilities, but I imagine that the Premier will be able to give the honourable member a response on that. In relation to the Sirius Building, obviously that is the subject of a decision that has been taken by Government and is part of an overall strategy of increasing the amount of social housing that is available. It has been a very successful program.
There are more people who are in need in social housing now as a result of the work undertaken by a series of housing ministers with the support of the Department of Family and Community Services and its senior leadership to provide extra social housing for the people of New South Wales. Frankly, the Government can be very proud of what it has done in terms of innovative new thinking about the way it provides social housing. Announcements have been made about the Sirius Building in the past and where that fits into that strategy. Of course, the State Government has announced its decision in relation to that building. In any case, because this is a matter which is obviously of particularly close interest to Reverend the Hon. Fred Nile, I think it would be appropriate that I take the question on notice and I ask the Premier for a full response in relation to the particular aspects that he has raised.
Everyone needs a Saviour. If you want to be involved in helping the Save Our Sirius campaign, you can get more information on their website saveoursirius.org
Pic Credit: Tim Ross at recent Save Our Sirius event used with Permission @ShaunCarter70 @SaveOurSirius.