Uluru climbing ban 'very likely'

Uluru climbing ban 'very likely'

The traditional landowners, the Anangu, have always refused to climb Uluru and consider it sacred.

Speaking at Uluru for the announcement, senior traditional owner and chairman of the park board Sammy Wilson said the site had deep cultural significance and was not a "theme park".

Climbing Uluru is set to be a thing of the past after the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park board decided unanimously to ban the activity, starting in 2019.

After over 70 years of tourism, Uluru will be off limits for climbers from October 2019, local authorities have confirmed.

Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park - that's about in the middle of the country.

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Figures from Parks Australia indicated only 16per cent of visitors climbed the rock between 2011 and 2015, down from 74per cent in the 1990s.

Anangu owners make up a majority of the park's board and would have been able to institute a policy change without the backing of the non-Anangu board members.

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

The closure should not come as too much of a surprise; the park's most recent management plan states that the climb will be "permanently closed when the proportion of visitors climbing falls below 20 per cent". "Let's come together; let's close it together".

It also warns of the dangers of climbing Uluru, including that many have died while scaling the rock.

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