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Calls To Permanently Ban Tourists Climbing Uluru

Management at one of Australia's most significant natural wonders, Uluru, want the rock to permanently ban climbers.

Senior traditional owner and leader Sammy Wilson says Uluru is "not a theme park like Disneyland".

In a speech to the 12-member board that manages the park, Mr Wilson said the Anangu, the local Indigenous owners, felt they had a "gun to our heads" to keep the rock open.

He told the board. "Please don't hold us to ransom,"

It estimated that 16 per cent of visitors climb, a sharp drop in numbers from around ten years ago, when the number was around 38%

Mr Wilson said, "Some people, in tourism and government for example, might have been saying we need to keep it open but it's not their law that lies in this land,"

"It is an extremely important place, not a theme park like Disneyland."

"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. It is the same here for Anangu. We welcome tourists here. We are not stopping tourism, just this activity."

"After much discussion, we've decided it's time," he said.

SMH

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