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Cook's landing place deserves proper recognition.



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Tue, 29th April 2008 COOK'S LANDING PLACE DESERVES PROPER RECOGNITION

Steven Ciobo MP Shadow Minister for Small Business, the Service Economy & Tourism

The Federal Shadow Tourism Minister, Steven Ciobo MP, has called for all tiers of government to work together to upgrade tourism infrastructure at Lieutenant James Cook's landing place at Kurnell, to recognise its status as the modern birthplace of our nation.

Today marks the 238th anniversary of Cook's landing on the foreshores of Kurnell on Botany Bay's southern headland in 1770, which is now protected as an historic site.

''Lieutenant Cook's landing marked the modern beginning of our nation, however there are few reminders that this place is of major national significance,'' Mr Ciobo said.

''The time has come for Cook's landing place at Kurnell to be treated with the respect and significance it deserves as the birthplace of modern Australia.

''Tourists from all over the globe should want to come here and learn the history of this special site on the foreshores of Kurnell just as much as locals. Let's tell our story about how our modern nation began.

''The Federal Government has a responsibility to educate people about Kurnell where history was made 238 years ago, not just in a text book, but by offering a real experience.

''Australia is a very proud nation, so let's build on that and promote Kurnell as a place to experience history.''

Federal Member for Cook, Scott Morrison, said Cook's landing place needed significant attention from governments if its unique place in the Australian story was to be properly recognised.

''There should be a modern museum of Pacific discovery, a state of the art indigenous tourism centre that tells the stories of the first Australians, upgraded roads, walkways and signage and new monuments to compliment the old by taking advantage of new technology and 21st century design,'' he said.

''We also need to rethink access to the site including ferry access for local charter operators, a new heritage drive and a coastal walk that links the landing place to Bate Bay.

''The people of the Sutherland Shire are proud to live in an area so significant to our national story and it's time more was done to share this pride with all Australians.

''In 2020 we will mark the 250th anniversary of this Cook's historic landing at Kurnell.

''The 250th anniversary must be an occasion for national celebration and work must start now to ensure that we treat this significant milestone with the recognition it deserves.''