Uluru climbing ban 'very likely'

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The board of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Management, made up of a majority of Aboriginal traditional owners, today voted unanimously in support of closing down access to the top of the rock.

"It is an extremely important place, not a playground or theme park like Disneyland."

The ban will come into effect on October 26, 2019, giving tour operators time to clear pre-booked visitors.

Since the 1930s, the spectacular monolith in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park has been climbable for tourists, despite staunch opposition from the land's traditional owners.

It made a decision to close the rock to climbers from October 26, 2019 - 34 years to the day since it was handed back to its traditional owners, the Anangu people, the Northern Territory News reports.

"Over the years, Anangu have felt a sense of intimidation as if someone is holding a gun to our heads to keep it open".

Figures from Parks Australia indicated only 16per cent of visitors climbed the rock between 2011 and 2015, down from 74per cent in the 1990s. "We are not stopping tourists, just this activity".

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.

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.

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

The Anangu have long requested that Uluru not be climbed, as they believe it's a deeply sacred men's site - and that they have a cultural responsibility for the number of climber deaths and injuries.

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

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