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Uluru: Climb "no cultural interest"

In this excellent and informative article from 2015 Erwin Chlanda from the Alice Springs News raises important questions about the legitimacy of recent claims that the climb is sacred to Traditional Owners and the rigour of research by Parks Australia and Charles Darwin University. It seems the notion the climb is a concern to locals is only a recent phenomena.

I had the opportunity of speaking with Paddy Uluru early in my work in Central Australia (I arrived in December 1974).
Mr Uluru was the undisputed custodian of The Rock at that time.
We spoke face to face at the base of monolith, and he was happy to be photographed with the Rock in the background. (Restrictions on photography of The Rock has since developed into a nasty, bitter and divisive issue. Apart from anything else the rules are stifling millions of dollars worth of free publicity of this tourist attraction.)
Mr Uluru told me if tourists are stupid enough to climb the Rock, they’re welcome to it.
For him there was nothing of practical value up there such as water, game nor edible plants.
He made it clear that knowledge of certain elements of the Rock’s dreaming must remain secret, to be known only by a strictly defined circle of people.
That knowledge would be passed on to outsiders at the pain of serious punishment and perhaps death.


But the physical act of climbing was of no cultural interest, Mr Uluru told me.

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