John Büsst: Bohemian Artist and Saviour of Reef and Rainforest

Iain McCalman

John Büsst: Bohemian Artist and Saviour of Reef and Rainforest
Format
Paperback
Publisher
NewSouth Publishing
Country
Australia
Published
1 June 2024
Pages
272
ISBN
9781761170096

John Büsst: Bohemian Artist and Saviour of Reef and Rainforest

Iain McCalman

Known to his enemies as ‘The Bingil Bay Bastard’, John Büsst, a Bendigo-born Melbourne bohemian artist, moved to tropical Bedarra Island in North Queensland and underwent an extraordinary transformation to become one of Australia’s most successful conservationists. In the 1960s and early 70s Büsst led campaigns to protect two of Australia’s most important and endangered environments — saving lowland rainforests from destruction and the Great Barrier Reef from reckless resource mining for oil, gas, cement and fertiliser. A plan Büsst likened to ‘bulldozing the Taj Mahal to make road gravel’. Along the way Büsst obtained the active support of five current or future prime ministers — Holt, Whitlam, Gorton, Hawke and Fraser.

This inspiring biography, from award-winning historian Iain McCalman, is a timely reminder that the passionate commitment of ordinary citizens is crucial to achieving truly transformative environmental change.

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