CONDOLENCE - GILES, MR B.L.


The apple and cherry orchards that were a large part of the landscape in the 1960s still form a significant part of our local industries. Mr Giles was a passionate advocate for the needs of orchardists in terms of market share, fair market price and biological control of pests. The fruit that is produced in the Adelaide Hills was and continues to be the best quality you will find anywhere in Australia.

Mr Giles was a firm believer in the importance of volunteering and the value this adds to our communities. Summertime in the Adelaide Hills is, of course, bushfire season, and he was particularly grateful to, and recognised in the parliament, the volunteer firefighters who saved lives, homes and properties from deadly bushfires. Since that time, there have been some personnel changes, but there are still some people who were then and still are in some of those brigades. The volunteer firefighters are an absolutely critical part of our Hills communities and remain so.

Being an advocate for Hills primary producers in the parliament saw him also make important contributions in relation to the healthcare and educational needs of the local area and also express some significant words about tourism opportunities in the Adelaide Hills.

Reading his maiden speech in recent days, I was quite taken also with Mr Giles' reflections on the benefits of cycling, perhaps ahead of his time and still potentially causing some controversy in those Hills communities for whom cycling is not as popular, or at least cyclists are not always as popular as they are in some other areas of our city. He understood deeply the value of being out in nature, the peace and tranquillity that the Adelaide Hills offer.

He was proud of the natural beauty of the area he represented. He spoke in that maiden speech of the Liberal priorities, of progress and growth and worked hard during his time in this place to bring about lower costs to encourage industries to South Australia. His maiden speech concluded with a quote that I thought I would repeat, with the indulgence of the house, in the hope that we may all reflect on it:

I trust that we here will be able to work together for the advancement of South Australia. I do not believe that backbiting and personal attack will achieve much. Let us get on with the job of reinstating South Australia in its rightful place on the ladder of success.

They were good words then, and they remain valid 50 years later. Mr Giles was a proactive and diligent servant of his community, and we are grateful for that service.