Tourists to be banned from climbing Uluru

Violet Powell
November 2, 2017

Now climbing is not banned, but the traditional owners of the land, Anangu, would prefer people not to climb Uluru.

The Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park board has imposed a ban as the rock is considered a sacred place by its indigenous owners.

Climbing on Australia's iconic Uluru landmark will be banned from October 2019, authorities said on Wednesday.

Figures from Parks Australia indicated only 16per cent of visitors climbed the rock between 2011 and 2015, down from 74per cent in the 1990s.

The park's Board of Management voted unanimously to approve the change, which has been the subject of lengthy discussion.

And in the USA, visitors are asked to stay off the Devils Tower National Monument in June each year "out of respect for traditional cultural activities of American Indians".

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But SA Rugby president Mark Alexander said on Tuesday that the support of the government was "critical" for the rugby bid. The IRFU will be waiting anxiously for the 11am announcement‚ which is a crucial step towards winning the World Cup bid.

"Closing the climb is not something to feel upset about but a cause for celebration".

A park board made up of a majority of the traditional owners of the land where the rock - which used to be known as Ayers Rock - stands made the decision.

The closure should not come as too much of a surprise; the park's most recent management plan states that the climb will be "permanently closed when the proportion of visitors climbing falls below 20 per cent". "Let's come together; let's close it together", he said.

Signs at the base of Uluru urge tourists not to climb because of the rock's sacredness in Anangu culture.

The board can also close the climb if it believes people will continue to visit the sacred site without being able to climb.

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

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