THE State Government has honoured late conservationist Harry Butler by naming a $17.6 million research centre after him.
The research facility in Kelmscott is the first component of the new State museum, set to be built in Northbridge and open in 2020.
It contains laboratories and a store with more than 2.5 million preserved specimens.
Dr Butler was Australian of the Year in 1979 and was known for his work as a pioneering naturalist but he died of cancer last December.
Culture and Arts Minister John Day opened the facility on Sunday , which is at the WA Museum’s collection centre.
“Harry was one of Australia’s best known naturalists who played a major role in the public awareness and conservation of our unique natural environment for more than 50 years,” Mr Day said.
“What is perhaps not as well-known are his decades of association with the WA Museum involving education, fieldwork collecting, advocacy and financial support.”
The Harry Butler Research Centre is the first element of the $428.3 million museum project, which includes the State’s new museum, which will be built in the Perth Cultural Centre.
“This very important collection includes remarkable scientific discoveries that were made here in WA, and include many specimens collected by Harry Butler,” Mr Day said.
“The centre will further bolster Western Australian science, supporting important research to help us understand our environment and better manage conservation, biodiversity, bio-security, agriculture and a wide range of other industries.”