Updated December 12, 2015 18:20:47

West Australian conservationist Harry Butler has died, aged 85.

The 1979 Australian of the Year died of cancer in a Perth hospital on Friday.

Dr Butler was presented with the Order of Australia in 2012, and was also added to the list of Australia’s Living Treasures that year.

He also played a significant part in the improvement of the Barrow Island oil and gas project, operating as an environmental consultant to Chevron.

Dr Butler’s son Trevor said he was nonetheless coming to terms with his father’s death.

“I’m still in shock even although he’s been ill, he’s a true fighter and has 3 occasions defied the doctors’ predictions,” Mr Butler mentioned.

“The cancer got him sooner or later but he told me final week when he was prepared to go he was just going to go and that is basically just what he did yesterday. So he went peacefully and speedily but had fairly a struggle prior to that.

I knew Harry personally. He was a excellent West Australian and a excellent educator to several of us about the significance of the atmosphere.

WA Premier Colin Barnett

“He had been ill for nearly two years but amazingly up till 3 months ago he was nevertheless messing around on the farm and driving a tractor and chopping wood.

Mr Butler stated his father was a “remarkable man by anyone’s standards”.

“The reality he was my dad created it unique for me but he was a exceptional man in a lot of, several techniques,” he mentioned.

“Element of us is relieved since he’s not in discomfort any more. Cancer is a shocking way to die and he’s going to be with the love of his life once again, that is his deceased wife Maggie.”

David Attenborough and Harry Butler Photo: Harry Butler presented David Attenborough with a framed photograph of a prethopalpus attenboroughi spider in 2012. (David Whitely)

Barnett pays tribute to ‘great West Australian’

West Australian Premier Colin Barnett said he extended his sympathies to Dr Harry Butler’s household on behalf of everybody in the state.

“Harry was an environmental pioneer whose dedication to conservation and nature was tireless,” Mr Barnett stated.

“There will be numerous men and women who’ll remember tuning in to his ABC show In the Wild and who will bear in mind him fondly.

“I knew Harry personally. He was a excellent West Australian and a wonderful educator to many of us about the significance of the atmosphere.”

Subjects: death, community-and-society, conservation, environment, perth-6000, wa, australia

1st posted December 12, 2015 17:36:52

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