MP Fred Nile (photo from Facebook)
MP Fred Nile (photo from Facebook)

Nile wants drinking age raised

THE man who could hold the balance of power in the NSW upper house wants the legal drinking age raised to 21.

Christian Democratic Party leader Fred Nile told ABC Radio the state's number one social problem was "not heroin, but alcohol", and said he expected his party's vote to be critical to the Coalition pushing through its power grid privatisation plan.

He did not believe he had a right to obstruct the government's plans, but suggested he would demand a fair hearing on issues he raised.

"I'd like to see some of the proposals I'm putting up seriously considered by the government, such as lifting the drinking age from 18 to 21," Rev Nile said.

As well as keeping 18-year-olds of pubs, Rev Nile flagged increased restrictions on abortions and fighting the spread of halal-certified food in Australia as major policies.

He vowed to vote against any poles-and-wires lease to overseas investors, and only support it if prices would not increase and workers were guaranteed their jobs for five years.

Rev Nile said mum and dad Australian investors should be given the option to buy into the electricity network.

"I think that should be the approach that all governments should take, to make it open to the public, so the public actually own the asset," he said.

The final upper house vote counts are still unclear, although it seems likely the CDP will hold two seats.