Traditional owners ban Uluru climb

Alicia Cross
November 2, 2017

Climbing the dramatic rock formation Uluru will be banned in two years after declining as visitors to the Australian scenic landmark increasingly recognize its sacredness to indigenous people.

'It is an extremely important place, not a theme park like Disneyland'.

"The climb is a men's sacred area, the men have closed it", chairman of the management board of the national park Sammy Wilson said today.

Traditional owners have been urging tourists not to climb Uluru for years, out of respect for the site's spiritual significance in Anangu culture.

"This decision is for both Anangu and non-Anangu together to feel proud about; to realise, of course it's the right thing to close it".

Uluru has around 300,000 visitors each year with Australian tourists the most likely to climb the rock followed by the Japanese, according to the park's figures.

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Figures show only 16 per cent of visitors made the climb during its open times between 2011 and 2015.

Because of an agreement with Australia's tourism industry requiring at least 18 months notice, the Uluru climbing ban will officially start in late October 2019. We welcome tourists here.

"This decision has been a very long time coming and our thoughts are with the elders who have longed for this day but are no longer with us to celebrate it", land council director David Ross said.

In the Anangu tradition, Uluru is a sacred place and climbing it is inherently disrespectful.

"Perhaps most disturbingly, many people die climbing Uluru".

In addition to being incredibly disrespectful, climbing Uluru is often unsafe, and has led to a number of deaths over the years.

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