Former deputy prime minister and National leader Doug Anthony has died at the age of 90 in a southeastern home in New South Wales.
He died peacefully at the Murwillumbah Guardian’s home on Sunday morning, his family said.
He had been a member of Richmond for almost 30 years.
Anthony was the leader of the State party, who was later renamed the National, 12 years and a deputy prime minister for almost a decade, influencing Coalition policies for many years in the 1970s and 80s.
He has served under six prime ministers, starting with Sir Robert Menzies.
The prime minister, Scott Morrison, said Anthony was “a man of integrity and patriotism of Australia.”
McCormack Sings Praises Of Dough Anthony
As Minister of Industry, he founded the Australian Wool Corporation, Morrison said in a statement.
“As Minister of Trade and Industry, Doug worked to renew and expand our trade agreement with New Zealand, open up the uranium industry in Australia, and try to expand trade with Japan, China and the Middle East.”
The Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Nationals, Michael McCormack, said “rural and regional Australia has lost one of the greatest of today”.
“The results Doug Anthony has defended in Australia’s rural and rural areas have been long standing,” McCormack said.
“He was committed to ensuring that the Australian people had a strong voice in government and that they were not only listened to, but at the forefront of government decision-makers’ minds.”
He was a “decent, honest, purposeful and resilient man”, McCormack said.
“Tales of him in the capacity of acting prime minister and leading the country from his caravan on the New South Wales north coast make up the political fabric of our party and our nation.”
Tributes Flow In
The Nationals’ deputy leader, David Littleproud, said Anthony was talking about excellent qualities of leadership and performance, leaving a significant legacy for future generations of National team representatives.
Among others to pay respect, former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described Anthony as “the great Australian”.
“An eloquent and committed advocate for an Australian republic often sharing a platform with his Liberal partner Malcolm Fraser and their old Labor rivals Gough Whitlam and Bob Hawke,” Turnbull tweeted.
He is survived by his wife Margot, his three children and nine grandchildren.
“Although Doug was privileged to serve the people of Australia in high office, he always considered his family to be his greatest legacy and contribution to the world,” the family said.
“He was very much a man of the Tweed region, and it is fitting that he should depart this life from within the community that he loved so much.
“His family is tremendously proud of his legacy. While always very humble, he made a lasting contribution to the nation, and particularly to people in country Australia.”