NSW parliament's longest serving member the Rev Fred Nile has joined a new party after the Christian Democratic Party he helped found was dissolved in March.
The 87-year-old, who insists he has no plans to retire, has joined the Seniors United Party of Australia.
He said he felt compelled to join the party after voluntary assisted dying legislation passed in NSW parliament on Thursday, following months of debate.
"Now more than ever, our seniors need to be heard, respected and cared for," he said.
Seniors are the largest demographic group in NSW, with more than 1.9 million people over the age of 65.
They should be not only acknowledged, but prioritised, Mr Nile said.
He also called for better resources for palliative care and more funding for rural and regional health.
The SUP supported freedom of speech and religion, he said, as he has done in his 40-year career in the NSW parliament.
Mr Nile was elected to the Legislative Council in 1981 as a member of the Call To Australia Group, which later became the CDP.
He has served in the NSW upper house ever since, aside from a few months in 2004 when he resigned to unsuccessfully run for the federal Senate.
The CDP was deregistered federally by the Australian Electoral Commission and dissolved by the Supreme Court in NSW in March "due to longstanding legal challenges and governance issues", he said at the time.
The SUP is running three candidates for the Senate in Saturday's federal electorate.
Former navy physical training instructor Raymond Bennie and high school language teacher Despina Kocher are on the ticket in NSW, and engineer Bob Burdett in WA.
Australian Associated Press
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