Mr RAMSEY (Grey–Government Whip) (13:43): A new statue of Matthew Flinders has been unveiled in Port Lincoln. Flinders took three journeys to the Southern Ocean between 1791 and 1810 from his native England. He was only 28 when he completed the circumnavigation of Australia and was the first to have used the word ‘Australia’ to refer to the continent on which we now live. It was in February 1802 that he sailed into the natural harbour now known as Port Lincoln, which he named in honour of his home province of Lincolnshire. He was very impressed with its harbour and climate.
Flinders’ maps of our coastline and our borders are remarkable for their accuracy. Even today some are still used. He was just 28 when he completed the circumnavigation of the continent-a remarkable feat in itself. At the time, Britain was at war with France. As a reward for his great effort here, he was actually detained by the French government for six years on his attempted return to England!
The statue has Flinders kneeling and using his compass, and he is accompanied by his cat, Trim. It was by British artist Mark Richards. It is one of just three of this design. It was funded by South Australian businessman Roger Lang. It is two metres high. It is a spectacular addition to Tasman Terrace, which is already home to the spectacular statue of Makybe Diva.