Climbing to be banned on Uluru from 2019

Climbing to be banned on Uluru from 2019

Climbing to be banned on Uluru from 2019

The decision came after new statistics showed that despite years of pleas from Aboriginal people for tourists to respect the site's importance in Aboriginal culture, many were still attempting the perilous climb to the top.

"It is an extremely important place, not a playground or theme park like Disneyland", said board chairman and Anangu man Sammy Wilson.

He also said the Anangu people have felt there is a "gun to our heads" to keep the climb open in past.

The UNESCO World Heritage-listed 348-meter rock, known for its shifting red-ochre colors, attracts around 300,000 visitors a year, despite its remote desert location near Alice Springs.

And the date of October 26 was chosen because it's an anniversary; on October 26 in 1985, custodianship of the park was transferred back to its Aboriginal owners, the Anangu.

Figures from Parks Australia indicated only 16 per cent of visitors to the park made the climb between 2011 and 2015, down from about 74 per cent in the 1990s. We welcome tourists here.

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"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", Mr Ross said.

"If I travel to another country and there is a sacred site or an area of restricted access, I don't enter or climb it, I respect it".

A sign at the base of Uluru urges visitors to reconsider climbing the sacred site, explaining it is not permitted under traditional law.

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

More than 30 people have died attempting the climb, which is often closed during periods of high temperatures or weather.

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