Number Of Uluru Climbers Ascends Since Ban Announcement
The number of tourists climbing Uluru has risen steeply since the Uluru-Kata Tjuta park board voted to ban climbing on the rock late last year, according to reports.
Indigenous affairs website Welcome to Country statistics showed that about 50-140 people a day were climbing the rock when the decision was made in November 2017.
That number has since increased to about 300-500 climbers each day.
Tourism Minister Lauren Moss is urging travelers to respect the wishes of the land’s traditional owners.
“Although the climb is not yet prohibited, Aboriginal traditional owners Anangu ask visitors to their land to respect their wishes, culture and law by not climbing Uluru,” she said. “(I) encourage visitors to experience the beauty and spiritual significance of Uluru in other ways – there are lots of tours and experiences on offer.”
A Parks Australia spokeswoman supported Moss’s views and said since the handback of Uluru and Kata Tjuta to traditional owners in 1985, visitors had been encouraged to develop an understanding and respect for the Anangu people and their culture.
“This is reflected in the ‘please don’t climb’ message,” she said.
The park board, made up largely of the site’s traditional owners, voted to the prohibit the contentious activity and announced the ban on November 1, 2017.
In publicising the decision, Uluru traditional owner and board chairman Sammy Wilson said banning the climb was the “right thing to do”.
If I travel to another country and there is a sacred site, an area of restricted access, I don’t enter or climb it, I respect it
The ban will begin on October 26, 2019, to coincide with the 34th anniversary of the return of Uluru to traditional owners.