The Australian and NSW Governments have joined together to properly recognise and commemorate the meeting of two cultures at the landing site of then Lt James Cook and the HMB Endeavour on 29 April 1770 at Kurnell as part of the 2020 250th Anniversary.
The Australian and NSW Government will together commit $50 million to upgrade visitor, transport, educational and commemorative infrastructure at Kurnell including a new aquatic monument, that takes in the original mooring site and foreshore.
Each year the Sutherland Shire Council brings the local community together at the Meeting Place Precinct to respectfully commemorate the Meeting of Two Cultures, sensitively acknowledging our nation’s shared history.
In 2005, former Member for Cook, the Hon. Bruce Baird was successful in having the Kurnell Precinct of the Kamay Botany Bay National Park registered on the National Heritage List. In 2016, the NSW Government formed a community reference panel, including appropriate indigenous representation, and commissioned a draft master plan for the Kurnell Precinct of the Park.
As the 250th anniversary approaches it is time that this historical and nationally significant precinct, receives the genuine attention it deserves. This is the place where our ancient Australian story began a new chapter that has led us to the free, peaceful and prosperous nation we are today.
The meeting place precinct at Kurnell will play a major role in events to recognise the 250th anniversary of Cook’s arrival. This milestone provides the perfect opportunity to ensure we mark this important occasion and provide a legacy for future generations to reflect and hear the stories of this important place.
The joint $25 million commitments will fund a new aquatic monument as well as improvement works to the existing Cook monument built in the 19th century, a new visitors centre, cafe and exhibition space, ferry wharves at La Perouse and Kurnell and disabled access.
The works will be informed by the Kamay Botany Bay National Park draft master plan, including further consultation on the plan as it is finalised by the NSW Government.
The master plan will also be subject to rigorous environmental and heritage impact assessment approvals prior to any works commencing.
A panel will be appointed, comprising local community and indigenous representatives to oversee commissioning, consultation and installation of the new monument. The consultation process will include public display of monument options for direct feedback from the community with the panel to recommend a preferred option to the State and Commonwealth Government.
Work on the new monument will be completed in time for the 250th anniversary with the other funded works to be completed during the next few years.