Climbing Uluru

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Uluru

Uluru where visitors will not be able to climb it after October 2019

The Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park board has decided to ban climbing Uluru (formerly known as Ayres Rock) as from October 26th 2019. The date is significant in that this will be the 34th anniversary of the return of Uluru to its traditional owners.

Uluru is regarded as a sacred area and since it was handed back to locals there has been a group calling for visitors not to climb it

The chairman of the park board, Sammy Wilson, said in a written speech said the site had deep cultural significance and that it was “an extremely important place, not a playground or theme park like Disneyland.”

But why  has this banning coming into place? Why won’t it start immediately rather than on the 33rd anniversary in 2018 or even from January 1st 2018?

For many years there has been pressure to close Uluru and why this has happened now seems a little unclear. It is not as if people are suddenly straying from the paths. People have consistently disregarded the signs and those that do face quite harsh sentences (a fine of $A60,000 and/or two years in gaol) but that doesn’t seem to have deterred them.

For decades, tour groups have been taken up to the top. When tracks were introduced, groups and individuals were supposed to stay on them. Those that didn’t seem to have been in  sufficient numbers to force the board to close Uluru to all. But this is going to have an effect on tourism, Why visit the area unless you can climb Uluru? When not just fly low over it instead?

A substantial drop in  tourist numbers – about 300,000 visit the area each year –  may cause the board to re-think beacuse there aren’t many other ways of earning an income in this remote area of Australia.

 

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