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Uluru belongs to the many, not the few

Some letters in the Sydney Morning Herald 2 November 2017

With respect, Uluru belongs to the many, not the few
The impending closure of the famous Uluru climbing track, while certainly understandable from a sacral point of view, from a social point of view seems to be based on the pretence that the rock is essentially owned by one group of people, rather than to be respectfully shared by all ("A rock, and a barred space", November 2). In 2005, I and many other domestic and international tourists conscientiously ascended the spine of the rock in the small window of opportunity that exists just after dawn. We did not spit on it, or leave rubbish, or etch our initials onto the hallowed surface. Unlike other man-made buildings or houses of worship, Uluru has physically existed well before human eyes first gazed upon its grandiose geographic majesty, and so should be more than the ultimate preserve of only a few. It forms part of our historic landscape, which should not be denied to subsequent generations, who simply weren't born early enough to be able to claim an exclusive connection to a natural beauty; it therefore can indeed be pastorally protected, while still being physically appreciated.
Peter Waterhouse Craigieburn (Vic)
Uluru is a world-class natural wonder that belongs to all of us. The Australian tradition of climbing the rock was initiated by William Gosse and his Afghan cameleer in 1873. This long-established cultural tradition is under threat by a small group of bureaucrats determined to impose their way on the rest of the world. It is OK to climb because we have the right to climb. Don't let irrational beliefs and petty nanny state bureaucrats take it away.
Marc Hendrickx Berowra Heights


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Claims that Aborigines never ascend the monolith are false and the highly sacred nature of the route a recent invention. The cultural-heritage significance of the climb to both Anangu and millions of non-Aboriginal visitors is something that should be celebrated and maintained, not discouraged and condemned.

Read the Article at Quadrant.
“In the realm of ideas there has been no better publication in Australia over the last fifty years than Quadrant magazine.”
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