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How would you remember Matthew Flinders? Sunshine Coast representatives call for public ideas for replacement Matthew Flinders memorial

6 June 2018

State, Federal and Council representatives joined together today to call for ideas from the public for a new memorial to Matthew Flinders in the Sunshine Coast hinterland following recognition that the only existing memorial is under threat. Matthew Flinders undertook the first known inland exploration of the iconic Glass House Mountains by a European and is currently memorialised by the Matthew Flinders Park near Beerburrum.

However, local volunteer, author and researcher Ivon Northage has identified that the current memorial would be cut in two by the duplication of the North Coast Rail. This week he called together Federal and State Members of Parliament, the local Councillor, representatives from the Department of Transport and Main Roads and the Sunshine Coast Regional Council to ensure Flinders’ endeavours continue to be shared with locals and tourists alike.

Mr Northage, the author of The National Heritage Listed Glass House Mountains, said “Flinders mapped the six most northern islands of “Glass House Bay” – now known as Moreton Bay – before putting in on the western shore of Pumicestone Passage to repair a leaking plank. Flinders, along with his indigenous guide Bongaree and two seamen set off to explore the Glass House Mountains. They climbed Mt Beerburrum, and camped on the banks of Tibrogargan Creek. Matthew Flinders Park acknowledges that he camped nearby and it’s important we continue to celebrate and share this important part of our history.”.

Federal Member for Fisher, Andrew Wallace MP, agreed – “Matthew Flinders’ contribution to our national history is monumental. I am determined that we recognise it in a meaningful and significant way. Following the Turnbull Government’s announcement of $390 million towards the North Coast Rail Duplication, it is more likely than ever that this long-awaited project will go ahead. When it does, we must ensure a new and improved commemoration of Matthew Flinders is delivered as part of that work.”

State Member for Glass House, Andrew Powell MP, was grateful representatives from the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) attended Monday’s meeting.

“Importantly, the Flinders Monument was recognised in the plans developed for the North Coast Rail project and the Department has committed to working with all levels of government and the community to determine exactly how it should be replaced when the project gets the final funding it requires to proceed. I’ll be working with Andrew, Rick, TMR and the community to make sure this happens,” Mr Powell added.

“And council is dedicated to ensuring the Matthew Flinders Park takes on not only a new shape but that the 1799 expedition has a much higher profile in our local tourism offerings. That’s why I made sure Council’s cultural heritage and tourism units were involved with me in Monday’s meeting. Together, we want to reassure all locals we will continue to commemorate the Matthew Flinders and Bongaree expedition in the Sunshine Coast hinterland,” concluded Sunshine Coast Regional Councillor Rick Baberowski.

Mr Wallace, Mr Powell and Cr Baberowski called on local residents to send in their ideas for what form the new memorial should take.

Mr Wallace said “All of us want this project to encapsulate the importance that local residents themselves place on Matthew Flinders’ explorations and to reflect how they want his contribution to be remembered. We are encouraging people in the Glass House Mountains region and throughout the Coast to write to us with their ideas for a new memorial so that we can feed these ideas back to TMR.”

Ideas for the new memorial can be sent to any of Mr Wallace, Mr Powell or Cr Baberowski at andrew.wallace.mp@aph.gov.au, glass.house@parliament.qld.gov.au or rick.baberowski@sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au respectively.
Photo (L to R): Mr Andrew Powell MP (back to camera), Mr Ivon Northage, Mr Andrew Wallace MP, Mr Peter Connell (Acting Coordinator, Cultural Heritage Services, SCRC), Cr Rick Baberowski, Ms Leah McKenzie (Acting Regional Director, Department of Transport and Main Roads – back to camera) and Ms Kerrianne Haggie (Investment Facilitator, Tourism Sport and Leisure Economic Development, SCRC) at Matthew Flinders Park north of Beerburrum.

[ENDS]
Date: 6 June 2018
Media Contacts:
For Mr Wallace: Simon Thwaites 0439 972 667
For Mr Powell: Lauren Smith 5318 8100
For Cr Baberowski: Karen Sourry 5420 8987

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