Why Are People Still Climbing Uluru?

Uluru is Aboriginal land.

And finally, on the 26th of October, 2019, climbing it will be banned for good. The historic decision was made by the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Board of Management back in November 2017. Citing cultural significance, the board, which is made up of a majority of Anangu (the traditional owners of Uluru), was unanimous in their decision.

The sign at the bottom of Uluru

The chair of the board, traditional owner Sammy Wilson, released a lengthy statement titled ‘Uluru Climb Closure – Words from the Chair’, explaining the reasons for the closure. Of particular significance is the part that reads:

‘It is an extremely important place, not a playground or theme park like Disneyland. We want you to come, hear us and learn. We’ve been thinking about this for a very long time. We work on the principle of mutual obligation, of working together, but this requires understanding and acceptance of the climb closure because of the sacred nature of this place. 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.’

Surely that would be enough to stop you from climbing Uluru. But yeah, nah. In the last few months, there has been a huge influx of insatiable swine racing to Uluru to get their filthy pig prints all over it before the climbing ban comes into effect in October. Nearby campgrounds, resorts and hotels are all at capacity, and now freeloaders are just parking on the side of the road, leaving their trash and waste behind as a final ‘fuck you’ to the traditional owners of this land before they go selfie themselves on a sacred landform.

A shot taken by Glenn Minett last week.

Many tourists, as well as bewildered onlookers, have taken to social media to share photos of mass crowds and long lines of climbers scaling the rock this past month. Meanwhile, sub-human blockhead Pauline Hanson shared her dismay with Channel 9 yesterday, saying, ‘We’ve been climbing the Ayers Rock, or Uluru, for many years. I really don’t get it. And how are they going to pay back the Australian taxpayer?’

Sammy Wilson saw this one coming back in 2017 when he published his ‘Words from the Chair’: ‘Whitefellas see the land in economic terms, where Anangu see it as Tjukurpa. If the Tjukurpa is gone, so is everything. We want to hold on to our culture. If we don’t, it could disappear completely in another 50 or 100 years. We have to be strong to avoid this,’ he said. Tjukurpa is the foundation of Anangu life and society.

So yeah, honestly, what are you guys doing? If you’re thinking of heading off to Uluru, find a cliff instead.

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