Climbing to be banned on sacred Australian rock

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

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

Beginning on October 26, 2019, climbing Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock) will be prohibited. "We are not stopping tourists, just this activity".

"It is an extremely important place, not a playground or theme park like Disneyland", said board chairman and Anangu man Sammy Wilson.

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.

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Since the 1930s, the spectacular monolith in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park has been climbable for tourists, despite staunch opposition from the land's traditional owners.

People have long asked visitors not to climb the outcrop, which was known for many years as Ayers Rock.

The board had previously indicated it wouldn't ban climbing until fewer than 20 percent of visitors to the park chose to climb the rock, or it was otherwise clear that the park could attract visitors even with a ban.

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.

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More than 30 people have died attempting the climb, which is often closed during periods of high temperatures or weather.

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.

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

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