Harry Butler has come back to north-east Western Australia, to Lake Argyle, made from the damming of the Ord River. Five years before, he was part of the team called 'Ord Noah’, brought in to save native fauna from the rising waters of the dam and resettle them on island sanctuaries on the massive lake. He’s back with the ABC team to see what has happened to these creatures in the intervening five years.
This clip is a good example of why Harry Butler was so successful on television. Here he succinctly and clearly explains a number of complicated ecological issues arising from the damming of the river. Folksy and chatty, he is engaging but clearly expert in the area, and we are happily carried along with him. The stunning camerawork beautifully supports his discussion.
Harry Butler CBE is one of Australia’s best-known naturalists and environmentalists. He was born in 1930 and grew up in Perth, where he trained as a teacher before beginning his work as an environmental consultant with corporations and government bodies. He’s always been a controversial figure, taking the side of the mining companies in opposing Aboriginal land rights, maintaining that it’s better to work with the industry to improve the environment rather than opposing them.