Owners Look to Close as Man Dies at Uluru
The death of a 54 year old man who collapsed on his way down Ayers Rock in Uluru, Australia has seen calls for climbing to be closed permanently to prevent such tragedies occurring in the future. The traditional owners of the park have been planning to have the climb stopped in a few years in any case but tourist operators are opposed to this amid fears that it will damage business.
This death is the second since the turn of the century, and before 2000 there had been 34 other death on the rock dating back to 1958. These tragedies weigh in favour of those looking to have climbing stopped. The Ayers Rock is often off limits to tourists when it is too hot, raining, windy or there are aboriginal ceremonies taking place.
Australia’s Federal Environment Minster, Peter Garret, has explained that unless three conditions are met then the Rock will remain open for climbing. Firstly, the number of visitors must drop from 38% to 20%. Secondly, other facilities and services must be set up for tourists to do at Uluru. Finally, a survey must be constructed showing that climbing is not the main reason why people come to visit Ayers Rock.
Public opinion seems to be divided on the matter which further adds to the uncertainty of the Rocks future with comments flooding in it was counted as 78 for and 75 against. While the debate rattles on the climb will no doubt remain open but it seems that its days are numbered and time could be running out for those who planned to climb on of Australia’s most famous landmarks.