Former Queensland senator and Howard government resources minister Warwick Parer has died at the age of 77.

Former Howard government minister Warwick Parer has died aged 77.

Mr Parer, a nephew of Australian war photographer Damien Parer, served as a Liberal senator for Queensland from 1984 to 2000 and was minister for resources and energy from 1996-98 under John Howard.

He retired from the Senate in 2000, with his spot going to now Attorney-General George Brandis.

Senator Brandis said he was close to Mr Parer, who always kept a close and encouraging eye on his parliamentary career.

“Warwick served Australia in a number of important roles in his twin careers of businessman and politician,” he said in a statement.

Warwick Parer was born in Papua New Guinea in 1934. His father died in 1942 when Japanese aircraft shot up his aircraft as it prepared to take off from the airstrip at Salamaua.

Mr Parer worked as an executive in the coal industry and was a pioneer in negotiating contracts between Australian exporters and the emerging Japanese markets for coal from the Bowen Basin.

Senator Brandis said Mr Parer was one of the relatively few senior Queensland businessmen actively involved in the Liberal Party, shaping its mining and resources policy in the 1970s and 1980s.

He entered politics in 1984, filling the spot vacated by Kathy Sullivan, and was at that time probably the most senior business figure in the parliament.

Senator Brandis said Mr Parer brought a depth of understanding to the resources portfolio that nobody else in the parliament could match.

After departing politics, he remained active in the Liberal Party, serving as Queensland state president from 2005-2008, working with National Party president Bruce Scott to prepare for eventual amalgamation of the two parties into the LNP.