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Tourists will be banned from climbing Australia's UIuru

Tourists will be banned from climbing Australia's UIuru

"It is an extremely important place, not a playground or theme park like Disneyland", said board chairman Sammy Wilson, who is Anangu.

Uluru's traditional owners and National Parks representatives voted to end the practice on Wednesday.

It chose to close the rock to climbers from October 26, 2019 - 34 years to the day since it was handed back to its traditional owners, the Anangu people, the Northern Territory News reports.

The latest statistics showed just 16 per cent of tourists climb Uluru, paving the way for the closure.

And in the USA, visitors are asked to stay off the Devils Tower National Monument in June each year "out of respect for traditional cultural activities of American Indians".

A park board made up of a majority of the traditional owners of the land where the rock - which used to be known as Ayers Rock - stands made the decision.

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" 'Over the years Anangu have felt a sense of intimidation, as if someone is holding a gun to our heads to keep it open".

In a statement from the park board, Wilson said the decision was something to "feel proud about".

The entirety of Uluru is a sacred area and the site where the climb begins is also a sacred men's area. "Let's come together; let's close it together", he said.

A sign at the base of Uluru urges visitors to reconsider climbing the sacred site, explaining it is not permitted under traditional law.

"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".

"Perhaps most disturbingly, many people die climbing Uluru". The Central Land Council (CLC), who represents Aboriginal people in Central Australia, welcomed the move.

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