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November 12, 2019
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Australia permanently closes climb on sacred Uluru

ULURU, Australia: Authorities permanently closed the climb on sacred Uluru at 4 pm Friday, and stopped any more people from making the trek.

Ascent to the sacred rock formation has been closed to respect the holy association of the indigenous Anangu tribe with the site.

Parks Australia closed the hike 34 years after the government officially returned the site to its historic owners.

Climbing is now a punishable offence which may result in a $6,300 fine.

The ban was unanimously voted for by the 12 members of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park board in 2017, citing Uluru’s cultural significance to the Anangu people outweighing economic considerations.

Chair of the board that banned the climb, Sammy Wilson, called the prohibition a reason for celebration.

“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,” a member of the Anangu tribe, Wilson, said.

“It is the same here for Anangu. We welcome tourists here. We are not stopping tourism, just this activity.”

 

Hundreds of Australian and international visitors scaled the 348-metre high Ayers Rock on the final day as the locals booed.

Over the decades, dozens of people had died while climbing Uluru for a range of reasons, including falls, dehydration and health issues.