Andrew BoltFriday, July 10, 2009 at 07:22am
PETER Garrett said yesterday he hadn’t yet heard good arguments against a plan to ban us from climbing Ayers Rock. [Though he may have heard one now ;)]
Well, right back at you, Pete. I haven’t yet heard a single good argument for you to do what you now threaten.
In fact, my dear Environment Minister, the people who have got your ear on this ban should fix up their homes before shooing us off the rock. Until then, excuse me if I doubt the sincerity of their concern about tourists who have paid $25 a pop to come marvel at - and walk on - the rock next door.
It’s actually a breach of faith that we must even argue now for our right to climb Ayers Rock, or Uluru.
After all, when the Hawke government in 1985 handed it to the traditional Anangu owners, the deal was that for the next 99 years Ayers Rock would still be open to tourists, who would still be free to climb it. Some 100,000 tourists a year, or a third of all visitors, do just that.
Yet now the national park staff and Anangu people who today oversee the site say that must stop. The deal is off.
Full article here.