The NSW Nationals have poorly served Christians during this term of Parliament.
The Christian Democratic Party was pleased to play its part in the New South Wales Government’s backdown on robbing Catholic graves.
The Minister for Water, Property and Housing, Melinda Pavey, recently announced a government take-over of cemetery operations in Sydney, including those of the 153-year-old Catholic Cemeteries Board.
The Catholic Trust operates as a not-for-profit charity and is fully-loaded for perpetual care to the tune of $140 million.
Because other cemetery operators shared a $300 million liability, Pavey’s solution was to put everything under the control of the government, sacking the Catholic Trust and taking its assets.
This would have hiked the price of a cemetery plot by thousands of dollars as a government-run operation would not have charitable status.
More importunately, Pavey abolished the Church’s Christ-centred mission focus in serving the bereaved of Sydney, turning cemetery operations into another arm of sterile government.
Astonishingly, she has refused to speak to the Catholic church about her decision since December 2020.
The CDP through the Reverend Honourable Fred Nile was the first to publicly support the Catholic Church’s campaign to reinstate the Catholic Cemetery Trust and find another solution to deal with the liabilities of the other operators.
This week the new NSW Labor Leader Chris Minns also came on board and backed the Catholics.
The government is digging its way out of the mess with Deputy Premier John Barilaro now tasked by Cabinet to broker a solution.
Pavey is a member of the NSW Nationals – a party which has performed very poorly for the Christian constituency during this term of parliament.
Apart from going to war with the Catholic Church over their cemetery plots, the Nationals led the charge for the 2019 abortion-to-birth legislation, which has deeply upset pro-life Christians throughout the state as well as the party’s conservative base.
Lyle Shelton is Director of Campaigns and Communications for the Christian Democratic Party. The Reverend Honourable Fred Nile MLC has nominated Lyle to succeed him in the NSW Parliament when he retires in November. To keep in touch with Lyle and the CDP, sign up here.