Prime Minister Scott Morrison says it’s time to “rediscover” Captain James Cook because he gets “a bit of a bad show”.
Mr Morrison plans to kick the “rediscovery” along with more than $12 million in projects to mark the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s first voyage to Australia and the Pacific.
They include a circumnavigation of Australia by a replica of the Endeavour to mark the anniversary of James Cook’s maiden voyage to Australia in 1770.
On radio on Tuesday, Mr Morrison described the planned journey as a “re-enactment”. In fact, although Captain Cook made three voyages here, he never actually circumnavigated Australia.
It is embarrassing to have ill-informed decision makers providing Australians with misleading and expensive symbols.
I have always maintained that no one should be a minister in the Australian government unless they have at least a working knowledge of Australian history. They should be aware that Captain Cook was a brilliant navigator. He was the first person to map the St Lawrence River and thus provided the British with the ability to sail to Quebec, which the French had not been able to do. This allowed Britain to defeat France and claim Canada as its colony.
Captain Cook travelled up the east coast of Australia and claimed Australia for Britain by planting a British flag on Australian soil even though the Dutch had left a more detailed memento of their journey to the west coast of Australia over 100 years earlier.