Labor’s secret plan to deny access to Uluru

Labor’s secret plan to ban tourists from climbing Uluru

Garrett [says that claims that he has a] secret Uluru plan [are] ‘preposterous’

July 2009: Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett has dismissed as ‘preposterous’ Opposition claims he has a secret plan to ban tourists climbing Uluru.

A 10-year draft plan for the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park recommended banning climbers for ‘environmental’ and ‘cultural’ reasons.

Opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt has demanded the popular tourist drawcard and Aboriginal sacred site remain open to climbers and accused Mr Garrett in The Australian of being behind the plan to close it to climbers.

Mr Garrett, who has to give final approval for the draft plan, rejected Mr Hunt’s claims; he says he is ‘yet to make up his mind’ about a total ban.

Source: ABC News

In the case of a Labor politician, a denial is usually a confirmation.

Rudd urged to veto Uluru climbing ban

Opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt says banning climbers is unacceptable, as people come from all over the world to enjoy the site. He says people come from all over the world to climb the rock. ‘Give people education. This is not just a local treasure but it’s a national treasure and an international treasure’, he said. ‘Give them the cultural information, let them make up their own mind as to how best to honour Uluru and the surrounding area’. Mr Hunt says the Coalition invested $20 million in improving Uluru for tourists and supporting Indigenous employment.

He says this will be destroyed under the plan, and not all traditional owners agree with the proposed closure.

‘Some want to, some don’t. And what I’m seeing here is [Environment Minister] Peter Garrett running his agenda, closing the climb, turning his back on Indigenous people, turning his back on Indigenous jobs, and turning his back on a future people in towns such as Mutitjulu’, he said.

Source: ABC News

Subsequent events have shown that there was indeed a ‘secret plan’.

Uluru climbs banned from October 2019 after unanimous board decision to ‘close the playground’

This headline is a classic ABC distortion. Whilst the board might have passed a ‘unanimous’ decision, the board doesn’t represent Australia in general.

Chairman Sammy Wilson said the site had deep cultural significance and was not a ‘theme park’. ‘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’

Source: ABC News

Us and them?
Actually, unless the Rock is outside of Australia it actually is ‘their law that lies in this land’, our law that is.

Tradition belies excuses for the Uluru climbing ban – Marc Hendrickx

May 2019: In about six months Parks Australia will lock the gate on one of the most iconic experiences of the natural world: the climb up Uluru/Ayers Rock. The ban on climbing will put an end to a 30,000-year-old tradition and will endanger the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park’s World Heritage listing, as the awe-inspiring summit views listed in the 1987 nomination will no longer be accessible

The first climbers of Ayers Rock were pre-Anangu peoples who arrived in central Australia about 30,000 years ago. No one knows what they called their rock. The Anangu culture includes the dingo in its creation mythology, which means it emerged about 4000 years ago, after the arrival and spread of the dingo.

In a 1975 ABC TV interview, Paddy Uluru’s brother Toby Naninga said that aside from the men’s initiation cave, Warayuki, tourists could go anywhere else. The daughters of senior Anangu men climbed the rock with long-term Red Centre resident David Hewitt in 1969, blowing apart the modern myth that it is for men only.

Geologist Marc Hendrickx is author of A Guide to Climbing Ayers Rock

Source: The Australian

Uluru and Aboriginal Culture

The area around Uluru was settled thousands of years ago, and although it was ‘discovered’ by the ‘white man’ in the 1800s, Uluru and Aboriginal culture are very much entwined today. In fact, Uluru (Ayers Rock) is sacred to the local Pitjantjatjara tribe that live here. It was said to have come about during the much fabled Dreamtime.

Why is Uluru sacred?

Aboriginal culture dictates that Uluru was formed by ancestral beings during Dreamtime. The rock’s many caves and fissures are thought to be evidence of this, and some of the forms around Uluru are said to represent ancestral spirits. Rituals are still often held today in the caves around the base where ‘No Photography’ signs are posted out of respect.


fable (noun)
  • a short tale to teach a moral lesson, often with animals or inanimate objects as characters;
  • a story not founded on fact
  • a story about supernatural or extraordinary persons or incidents;


How old is Uluru?

The Cambrian Period is marks the beginning of the Paleozoic Era, which lasted 53 million years from about 543 million years ago. Uluru is thought to be 600 million years old. The Cambrian period gets its name from a place in Wales where the first fossils were found.

The Cambrian Period began with an explosion of life forms. It ended in a mass extinction. Advancing glaciers would have lowered the temperature of the shallow seas where so many species lived. Changes in the temperature and the amount of oxygen in the water would have meant the end for any species that could not adapt.

  • Uluru/Ayer’s Rock is 600 million years old.
  • Aboriginals have been in the area for about 10k years
  • The Rock was named Ayer’s Rock by William Gosse 146 years ago.

Some perspective: 10k years is 1/6 of 1% of 1% of the age of the rock.

The original inhabitants were trilobytes.

By what right does ANYONE claim ownership?

Uluru / Ayer’s Rock is one of Nature’s Gifts that we’re not allowed to share – and it will be denied to overseas visitors as well.

“Advance Australia fair!”

Our land abounds in nature’s gifts
Of beauty, rich and rare
In history’s page let every stage
Advance Australia fair,

For those who’ve across the seas
We’ve boundless plains to share,

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