July 9th, 2009 at 04:28pm
This is a joke, right? Please tell me it’s a joke.
Federal authorities want to ban people from climbing one of Australia’s great natural wonders – Uluru.
An estimated 100,000 people make the steep ascent each year.
The Director of National Parks wants to close the climb for “visitor safety, cultural and environmental” reasons.
A 10-year draft management plan for the park, issued on Wednesday, says authorities will work towards closing the track.
Uluru, which is located in Australia’s “Red Centre” and used to be known as Ayers Rock, attracts about 300,000 tourists a year. Most are from overseas.
Visitors are free to ascend the path up Uluru most of the time. But signs urge people not to do so out of respect for indigenous culture.
We shouldn’t climb it because some people who were born near it say so, and because a few people have died over the years? That’s like saying “I was born in Canberra and people have died on the roads, so you shouldn’t drive on Canberra’s roads”…give me a break.
Environment Minister Peter Garrett has to sign off on the plan. A spokesman would not be drawn on whether Mr Garrett supported closing the track.
The spokesman said “there will obviously be a range of views” about the Uluru climb, and urged people to take part in the public comment period on the plan, which closes on September 4.
To their credit, the opposition are opposed to closing the great rock.
I may have to enquire about how one gets involved in this public consultation, and report back. A quick google search didn’t turn up anything useful, nor did a quick check over Peter Garrett’s website (I’m not brave enough to browse it for long).