Australia to ban climbing Uluru from 2019

A decision on a climbing ban was made today at Uluru and has been a long time coming for some

A decision on a climbing ban was made today at Uluru and has been a long time coming for some

Climbing on Australia's iconic Uluru landmark, previously known as Ayers Rock, is to be banned from October 2019. A huge sign at the base of the climb reads: "We, the traditional Anangu owners, have this to say".

The Uluru-Kata Tjuta management board discussed permanently closing the climbing route on Uluru on Wednesday.

Climbing Uluru will be banned from October 2019, after the board of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park unanimously agreed to prohibit climbers.

Uluru is sacred to indigenous Australians and is thought to have started forming around 550 million years ago.

Uluru's land title was handed back to its traditional owners in 1985, but was immediately leased to the Australian federal government to be jointly managed as a national park for 99 years.

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

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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.

The park's 2010-2020 management plan recommended the climb be closed when one of three preconditions was met, including that fewer than 20 per cent of visitors climbed the rock.

"The chair of the board, traditional owner Sammy Wilson, made an impassioned speech to the board before the vote, describing the pressure he and other Indigenous people felt over the issue. Let's come together; let's close it together", he said.

The board can also close the climb if it believes people will continue to visit the sacred site without being able to climb.

At least 37 people have died attempting to climb the rock since records of fatalities began in the 1950s.

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