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Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Page: 3433

Mr PYNE (SturtManager of Opposition Business) (18:56): I am very pleased to join my colleagues the member for Boothby, the member for Berowra and the member for Riverina in speaking on the condolence motion to my predecessor, Ian Wilson. I knew Ian Wilson very well since I was a child. In fact, my mother and father were members of the branches in Sturt, the seat that I represent. I grew up knowing the Wilson family, the legacy of his father, Sir Keith, and his mother, Lady Wilson, and the contribution that the Wilson family, the Bonython family and the Bray family have made to South Australia since 1836. I have a very high regard for the Wilsons and all of their relations—anyone who has been associated with that amazing strain that have had such an indelible impact on my great state.

In fact, we are distantly related. John McDouall Stuart led an expedition across Australia and one of the members of that expedition was a man called Stephen King. Stephen King and the Wilson family were related. Stephen King is a forebear of mine as well. That is the nature of South Australia of course. The relationship is so distant that it barely bears repeating, but it did mean that we were both members of the John McDouall Stuart Society. Only relations of those on the expedition were able to be members of the John McDouall Stuart Society.

I joined the Liberal Party when I was 17 and I joined the Burnside branch and I joined the Young Liberals—both in Sturt. I was president of the Young Liberals and president of the Burnside branch. I was treasurer of Ian's Sturt federal electorate council, or committee as it was called then. I was his campaign manager in 1990 and I was also the vice president of the Sturt federal electorate committee. I worked on every campaign in Sturt from 1987 onwards, which was the first opportunity that I had to run. I defeated Ian Wilson in preselection in 1992 and became the member for Sturt in 1993.

Ian Wilson and I had a very close relationship because of the fact that I followed him in Sturt. We had a very chequered relationship. I think it is fair to say that I certainly was not the flavour of the month in the Wilson household for about 21 years, but I was pleased to attend his funeral and honour his commitment to public service. His commitment to public service was one that he inherited from his family and it was a very genuine one. He was a very good Liberal, in the small 'l' sense, and contributed to making sure that our party is a party that represents both the conservative and the liberal strains of political thought in this country.

He was also a courageous man in politics, and one of the things that was not mentioned in any of the eulogies given at the funeral was that he crossed the floor against the party—with the member for Berowra, in fact—to defend a non-discriminatory immigration policy in Australia, which did not make him popular with the powers that be in the party. But Ian Wilson was a man who put principle before preferment, in the great tradition of the small-L liberals in South Australia, who have had a real impact on our party for 60 years.

I am sorry that Ian Wilson's and my relationship never recovered from a bruising preselection—that is the nature of politics. I bear him and his family no animus. Can I say that his greatest achievements were his four sons and his marvellous marriage. His wife, Mary Scales, and his four sons, Keith, Richard, Nigel and James, gave marvellous speeches at the funeral. It spoke volumes for the kind of father, parent and husband that Ian had been that he has produced for remarkably great sons and South Australians, and I was pleased to be there to witness it. I thank the House for indulging me of this condolence motion on Ian Bonython Cameron Wilson.