Uluru climbs banned by National Park board from 2019November 7th, 2017 | | industry
How would a ban be enforced?
- Under Commonwealth laws, there are steep fines for people who ride or walk in a Commonwealth reserve and go off track.
- The management board could have all walking tracks on the rock removed, making any climb illegal.
- In practical terms, a chain currently in place could be removed, which would make climbing Uluru physically difficult.
- Under NT legislation, sacred sites including Uluru have special protections, and a serious breach of the Sacred Sites Act can lead to penalties of more than $60,000 and two years’ jail.
The board, made up of eight traditional owners and three representatives from National Parks, made the decision after consulting with the wider Anangu community, who it said was overwhelmingly in support of banning climbs.
Senior traditional owner and chairman of the park board Sammy Wilson was at Uluru for the announcement and in a written speech said the site had deep cultural significance and was not a “theme park”.
“Some people in tourism and government for example might have been saying we need to keep it open but it’s not their law that lies in this land,” he said. “The Government needs to respect what we are saying about our culture in the same way it expects us to abide by its laws. “After much discussion, we’ve decided it’s time.”
The ban began on October 26, 2019 to coincide with the 34th anniversary of the return of Uluru to traditional owners.
Traditional owners have been asking visitors not to climb Uluru since the 1985 handback and signs requesting people reconsider climbing have been in place at the base of the climb area since 1992.
The entirety of Uluru is a sacred area and the site where the climb begins is also a sacred men’s area.
Whether visitors should be allowed to climb Uluru has long been a topic of debate, with a number of controversial incidents—including a woman “stripping” on top of Uluru—reigniting the discussion in years past.
On Wednesday, the same day the ban was announced, three tourists who were rescued from the rock in 2016 after wandering off the marked path had their cases in Alice Springs adjourned.
The board said the climb had also claimed 36 lives since record-keeping began in the 1950s, with the last recorded death in 2010.
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Sourced by Mike Barrow