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Aboriginal leaders ban tourists from climbing Uluru
02 November 2017, 12:27 | Floyd Cook
Uluru climbs banned from October 2019 after unanimous board decision to 'close the playground'
In the Anangu tradition, Uluru is a sacred place and climbing it is inherently disrespectful.
The closure is possible under the terms of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Management Plan 2010-2020, which said it can be closed if the proportion of climbers falls below 20 per cent.
Climbers are to be banished from the world's second largest rock, Australia's 2,800ft Uluru, after its Aboriginal owners decided the sanctity of the 600-million-year-old edifice outweighed its lure for tourists.
It's within Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which also includes the 36 red-rock domes of the Kata Tjuta formation.
After over 70 years of tourism, Uluru will be off limits for climbers from October 2019, local authorities have confirmed.
A park board made up of a majority of the traditional owners of the land where the rock - which used to be known as Ayers Rock - stands made the decision.
"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 realise, of course it's the right thing to close it". According to Parks Australia, the climb is the traditional route taken by Mala on their arrival at Uluru, and the path is of great significant to Anangu.
The board can also close the climb if it believes people will continue to visit the sacred site without being able to climb.
"Instead of tourists feeling disappointed in what they can do here, they can experience the homelands with Anangu and really enjoy the fact that they learned so much more about culture".
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