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Tourists to be banned from climbing Uluru

02 November 2017

The closure is possible under the terms of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Management Plan 2010-2020, which said it can be closed if the proportion of climbers falls below 20 per cent.

Figures from Parks Australia indicated only 16per cent of visitors climbed the rock between 2011 and 2015, down from 74per cent in the 1990s.

"This decision is for both Anangu and non-Anangu together to feel proud about; to realize, of course, it's the right thing to close the "playground".

Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park - that's about in the middle of the country.

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. It is the same here for Anangu. A huge sign at the base of the climb reads: "We, the traditional Anangu owners, have this to say".

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"Instead of tourists feeling disappointed in what they can do here, they can experience the homelands with Anangu and really enjoy the fact that they learned so much more about culture".

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

While there have been concerns over the ban's impact on tourism, the number of visitors who climb Uluru have steadily dropped, largely thanks to increased awareness and education.

A chain on the path to the top of the rock was installed before the custodianship of the site was returned to the Anangu. The walking tracks on the rock could be removed, and steep fines levied for people who step on Uluru.

Tourists to be banned from climbing Uluru