Uluru climbing ban 'very likely'

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From 2019 visitors to Uluru won't be allowed to climb the iconic landmark rock in Australia, traditional owners have decided.

The director of the Central Land Council, David Ross, described the vote as "righting a historic wrong" and said the rock is "not a theme park like Disneyland".

Because of that significance, the park's board voted unanimously Wednesday to ban people from climbing Uluru. The decision came after new statistics showed that despite years of pleas from Aboriginal people for tourists to respect the site's importance in Aboriginal culture, many were still attempting the perilous climb to the top.

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

In a statement from the park board, Wilson said the decision was something to "feel proud about".

Around 300,000 people visit yearly, with Australians and then Japanese most likely to climb.

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And the date of October 26 was chosen because it's an anniversary; on October 26 in 1985, custodianship of the park was transferred back to its Aboriginal owners, the Anangu.

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. We welcome tourists here. "We are not stopping tourism, just this activity".

The traditional landowners, the Anangu, refuse to climb Uluru considering it sacred and the site is often closed to climbers after the passing of important Indigenous figures as a mark of respect.

In addition to being incredibly disrespectful, climbing Uluru is often unsafe, and has led to a number of deaths over the years.

The Anangu have long requested that Uluru not be climbed, as they believe it's a deeply sacred men's site - and that they have a cultural responsibility for the number of climber deaths and injuries. More than 30 people have died attempting the climb.

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