Tourists to be banned from climbing Uluru

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 traditional owners of Uluru will today decide whether or not to close the rock permanently to climbers.

Council executive member and park chairman Sammy Wilson said the board had been considering a ban for some time.

M - Uluru will be closed to climbers after the board of the Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park voted to close the climb to the summit of the rock, Sidney Morning Herald said.

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

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

"This decision is for both Anangu and non-Anangu together to feel proud about; to realize, of course, it's the right thing to close the "playground".

Around 300,000 people visit yearly, with Australians and then Japanese most likely to climb. According to the board, only 16 per cent of visitors to the national park climbed Uluru from 2011 to 2015.

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"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".

In the Anangu tradition, Uluru is a sacred place and climbing it is inherently disrespectful.

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.

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

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