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Thursday, 1 September 1994
Page: 853


Senator ELLISON ((7.25 p.m.) —I rise to speak about a recent visit I made to the replica of the Endeavour which is tied up at Fremantle harbour. I wish to place on record my thanks to Lyn Downer who organised the inspection. I can tell the Senate that it is truly a remarkable achievement and involves the voluntary efforts of hundreds of people. The project to construct the replica is one of significance to the Australian people and, I would venture to say, is a fine contribution to the heritage of this country.

  In 1768 Captain James Cook set sail in the Endeavour on a voyage of exploration and scientific investigation. He had on board with him Joseph Banks, whose contribution to the early studies of this country's flora and fauna are a matter of great knowledge. The purpose of this voyage was to prove or disprove the existence of the great south land and so it was a truly remarkable journey. The space shuttle Endeavour was named after that very vessel. When it went into space Captain Brandestein carried the trammel with him and later hammered it into the stern of the Endeavour. As he stated, it was in the spirit of Cook that they ventured forth into space on a similar voyage of science and investigation.

  This barque is an incredible replica. It really brings to the fore the various talents of some very good crafts people in Western Australia. The boat, when it sails overseas, will be a fantastic advertisement both for Western Australia and Australia. I wanted to mention this project tonight because shortly the Endeavour will be setting sail to traverse southwards towards Adelaide, Melbourne and then Sydney. It will then circumnavigate the continent, come back to Fremantle for refitting, and sail overseas.

  The project is a great example of participation by free enterprise in such a laudable project but, as well as that, the running of the whole project has been self-sufficient. I was told that in one day more people went over the Endeavour in Perth than visited the Sydney maritime museum. They were getting better figures than the Sydney maritime museum, which is truly remarkable considering the small population of Perth.

  I urge any senators who have the opportunity to have a look at this great piece of workmanship. It brings history alive. It will serve to remind all Australians of a truly great and epic journey, one which has been recognised in recent times by the naming of a spacecraft after it.

  The Endeavour is shortly to set sail. I wish to congratulate all those people who have taken part in the construction of it, the guides who will be travelling to the eastern states paying for their own fares and giving of their own time at cost to themselves in order to show the vessel to visitors. I thank once again the lady concerned, Lyn Downer, who gave me the opportunity to inspect this vessel. It brought home to me the conditions under which people lived at that time and the great courage it must have taken to venture so far away to a continent such as ours.