uluru climbing to be banned from Oct 2019

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Re: uluru climbing to be banned from Oct 2019

Postby ribuck » Tue 24 Jul, 2018 5:52 pm

north-north-west in reply to a post by user righttoclimb wrote:You don't even have the basic respect to use the proper name of Uluru and you expect to be taken seriously?

The entry from the NT Place Names Register is quite interesting:
http://www.ntlis.nt.gov.au/placenames/view.jsp?id=10532
Ayers Rock was named by WC Gosse on 19 July 1873 after Sir Henry Ayers.

Also encountered on 3 July 1902 by R T Maurice's exploration.

On 15 December 1993 the feature was officially dual named Ayers Rock / Uluru (where both names are equally as important and can be used either together of individually)

Following a request from the regional Tourism Association, on the 6 November 2002 the order of the dual names was officially changed to Uluru / Ayers Rock.

The word Uluru is from the Pitjantjatjara language and according to Neville Jones (Director of the Office of Aboriginal Development in 1993) who speaks the language, is believed to have no English equivalent - not uncommon with Aboriginal place names.

It is also believed that the name Uluru itself is more directly associated with the water hole above Mutitjulu (Maggie Springs) than with the Rock as a whole.
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Re: uluru climbing to be banned from Oct 2019

Postby freetoroam » Tue 24 Jul, 2018 8:45 pm

potato.
The locals are free to do what they like. But reading the lease if the ban goes ahead it would mean it can no longer operate as a "National Park". They can't have it both ways.

jdeks
Agree there are many contradictions, but I guess they are present in any religion. The base walk must cross this supposedly sacred pathway multiple times. If one is bad then so is the other, and they may as well shut the whole thing down. The attached map might interest. It is from a guide book on the "Tjukurpa" produced by the Mutitjulu community in 1985. There is no mention of any issues with tourists climbing in this series of brochures (there are three). This is the only map I have seen that plots the path of the Hare Wallaby men and other paths. It is to the north of the Rock. The text indicates "Mala (Hare Wallaby) people arrived from the north and scampered over the bumps and ridges of Uluru, engaged in all types of activities - both the ceremonial and day to day ones". Again this contradicts later "we never climb" messages that first arose in the 1991 management plan.

The beauty of having a religion where nothing is written down, is that you can make anything up to suit the circumstances!
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IMAG4192.jpg
from 1985 Tjukurpa brochure
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Re: uluru climbing to be banned from Oct 2019

Postby Lophophaps » Tue 24 Jul, 2018 10:52 pm

The history and background are quite interesting. Thanks for posting this.

It's pretty simple. If the board has made an illegal decision then call them to account. Ask for a reply by a certain time and date, usually 4.00pm two or four weeks hence. If there's no reply, lodge a complaint, 14 days. If there's no reply to that or it's unsatisfactory, go to the peak body, regulatory agency or ombudsman. I've done this many times, including today and last week.

Focus on this one point and give a time to reply. Everything else is secondary.

My strong view is that the board is legal and has made a legal decision. If the board or decision are illegal then it would have been picked up by others ages ago, a major NT story. I'm quite happy to be proved wrong and be advised with authority that the board is illegal and/or has made an illegal decision. This needs to be hard evidence, not conjecture or wishful thinking. I've found it helpful to write as if a prosecution brief is being prepared, a fairly easy format to master. Then if it goes further the information is there, limited need for further or better particulars, or discovery.
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Re: uluru climbing to be banned from Oct 2019

Postby north-north-west » Wed 25 Jul, 2018 8:27 am

jdeks wrote:Its not as simple as 'their land' - while no-ones disputing their ownership, the leasee has rights too. This is a well established principal in common law, and i wonder how your average renter would react to having their lease amended to prohibit them from the loungroom on religious grounds. Of course that's not to say the renter can do what they want either, or that uluru is comparable to a house. But its demonstrably more complex than just being "their land".

Its not as simple as 'their decison' either. Again no-one here is disputing their sovereignty, but there's substantial indication that the doing the talking and making the decisions may not really represent the people or interests they claim to, and certainly evidence that this 'decision' isn't historically consistent with previous positions on the matter. That's not to say nobody supports the decision, but again, its evidently more complex.


The only relevant complexity beyond "their land, their decision" is who amongst the community makes the decision.
And, at the risk of again 'oversimplifying' this, that also is their decision.

Their culture is extremely complex and we do not have sufficient understanding of it to say who within that community has the knowledge and status and authority to speak on this matter. My own understanding is that there are significant major sites around Uluru related to both men's and women's matters, and that different groups have responsibility for them. It would be easy to talk to people from that community who do not have deep enough grounding in the relevance of a specific site or area to say why it is so significant. I know of numerous other places where even telling people that the site has a certain significance is discouraged.

As for the contention that closing the climb invalidates the National Park's status, I doubt there is a valid legal argument there as it seems to be based on the idea that a length of chain a few decades old and a line of paint only slightly older and that has been touched up many times have greater significance than the far older culture that preceded it, but anyone who really thinks that is free to hire their own legal representation and take the matter to court. I would be very interested to follow that case. :roll:
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Re: uluru climbing to be banned from Oct 2019

Postby freetoroam » Thu 23 Aug, 2018 8:26 am

Here's an interesting post on Quadrant that links to an interview with local elder Toby Naninga in 1975. He clearly indicates he has no issues with tourists going any where around the rock aside from the Men's initiation cave and the adjacent Ngaltawatta Pole. This is consistent with the views of Paddy Uluru and assurances about access promised by the CLC and PLC in 1983. If Tjukurpa is constant and unchanging then the current Board has disrespected the views of past elders.

enjoy!

http://quadrant.org.au/opinion/bennelon ... c-con-job/
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Re: uluru climbing to be banned from Oct 2019

Postby photohiker » Thu 23 Aug, 2018 9:07 am

Correct. In the past, climbing the rock was accepted by the Aboriginal people. Over time, they have decided to close climbing uluru.

The decision is by a community group recently, not by a single person.

It’s fair that decisions can be moved over time.
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Re: uluru climbing to be banned from Oct 2019

Postby jdeks » Fri 24 Aug, 2018 7:35 am

photohiker wrote:Correct. In the past, climbing the rock was accepted by the Aboriginal people. Over time, they have decided to close climbing uluru.

The decision is by a community group recently, not by a single person.

It’s fair that decisions can be moved over time.


Well, if we're going to get all technical, "the decision" is actually by a handful of individuals self-proclaiming to represent the community group/s. Whether or not that is the case is debatable, and very difficult to verify, considering none of them are elected by a formal, transparent democratic process. What is known, is that most of these 'representatives' have financial stakes in their representative positions. They are the ones who have decided to close the climb. Not the community.

But, ignoring that for now (which it seems some folk are very keen on), and taking the Board as a legitimate authority...

While it's ostensibly reasonable to suggest that decisions can be changed, one would think in a rational society, decisions are changed for reasons. And whilst there have been reasons given for changing the stance on the climb, I think the key point that freetoroam is making is that the reasons given in this case contradict the very cultural history being cited.

People have been 'asked', and will now be told, not to climb, because 'we don't climb' - yet demonstrably, they do. Their authority to make his decision is purportedly their lengthy cultural history with the site, yet that very history (among other things) presents evidence contradicting the justifying narrative.

The proposed development of luxury glamping huts and trails in the Alpine National Park is rightly facing intensive scrutiny, for its flawed rationale. Yet the demonstrably contradictory reasoning by questionable representatives in another National Park is not only to be accepted at face value, but indeed questioning it is to be considered inappropriate, because the decision is made by an Indigenous body?
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Re: uluru climbing to be banned from Oct 2019

Postby photohiker » Fri 24 Aug, 2018 9:47 am

http://www.environment.gov.au/topics/na ... management

Eight Aboriginal members are nominated by the Anangu traditional owners.
Board members usually sit for a term of five years before a new nomination process takes place.

Joint management of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park began in late 1985. Under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 the Central Land Council (CLC) is responsible for representing the interests of the traditional owners in negotiations and consultations regarding their lands. A CLC officer is employed to conduct consultations and represent the interests of traditional owners in management of the park.

Traditional owners of Uluru-Kata Tjuta live in a large number of communities in Central Australia. Mutitjulu Community is one of these communities and is located inside the park. Mutitjulu Community Aboriginal Corporation (MCAC) represents the community.


If you believe the Anangu members are not sharing views from their community for the park management, you should show us real information, not an opinion because you want to climb the rock.
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Re: uluru climbing to be banned from Oct 2019

Postby jdeks » Fri 24 Aug, 2018 12:54 pm

photohiker wrote:If you believe the Anangu members are not sharing views from their community for the park management, you should show us real information, not an opinion because you want to climb the rock.



I note that you completely avoided the bulk of my post regarding the contradictions, and opted instead for a personal attack regarding your opinions of my motivations in this discussion. I'll leave that until later. Instead, I'll address the other point you seem to be trying to make, by copy-pasting fragments from a webpage.

I'm well aware of how the board says it selects itself. If you read back, you'll see that my point is there is a disconnect between the policy, and the reality.

If you are actually after more information on this, I suggest you look into the history of the current board members, and the other stakes they may have in this decision. Then, if that intrigues you, maybe go and talk to some of the people in the area, and see what they think of the "nomination" process. Perhaps look wider at the Aboriginal Corporations scheme itself. No, you cannot do this with 15 minutes on google. SO it comes down to how motivated you are to have your beliefs challenged.

I suggest this, rather than go and spend hours doing it for you, because a) I know it's already out in the open if someone wants to see it, and b) I know you're not going to look, and you'd just find a reason to invalidate it anyway. This entire thread has just been a great demonstration of conceptual conservatism, and if footage of Anangu literally saying 'the climb is OK' doesn't inspire you to question what you've been told, nothing will.

To finish, instead I'll actually clarify my own personal position on this, seeing as quite a few seem so eager to make the assumption that what I'm arguing and what I personally feel are the same thing:

No, I dont want the climb closed. I'd personally rather see the whole darn park closed. The lease is an exploitative con that they were forced into, in the hope of getting some semblance of control back, and now it's politicised 'their' land while it's paved over so people can profit in their name. The utter hypocrisy of wealthy holidaysgoers claiming they "respect" these people with intentions of following some arbitrary rule for a day, then ignoring their wider plight for the other 364 days of the year, is profound. I'd personally rather see the lease revoked, funding removed, Yulara razed, and access returned to an explicit permission based system, on their terms alone. Truly, make it their sanctuary, and theirs alone.

But thats just an opinion, and I dont try to convince anyone of it specifically. Instead, I try and just call out the BS when I see it, so that when people feel ready to change their opinion, it's a little easier to get the real story. nThe rest is up to them.
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Re: uluru climbing to be banned from Oct 2019

Postby photohiker » Fri 24 Aug, 2018 1:43 pm

Not a personal attack, just a simple question:

If you believe the Anangu members are not sharing views from their community for the park management, you should show us real information, not an opinion because you want to climb the rock


Are the Anangu members not sharing views from their community for the park management? Yes or No?
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Re: uluru climbing to be banned from Oct 2019

Postby jdeks » Fri 24 Aug, 2018 3:01 pm

photohiker wrote:Not a personal attack, just a simple question:

If you believe the Anangu members are not sharing views from their community for the park management, you should show us real information, not an opinion because you want to climb the rock


Are the Anangu members not sharing views from their community for the park management? Yes or No?



We both know that oversimplifying the question does not compel a binary answer.

Neither "Yes" nor "No" would be accurate or honest, by the complex nature of the representation alone. If you're asking my personal opinion from what I've seen/heard/inferred? I think both, as I have explained in previous posts. Of the full extent, I am still unsure.
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Re: uluru climbing to be banned from Oct 2019

Postby photohiker » Fri 24 Aug, 2018 4:49 pm

So the correct answer is that the Anangu members of the CLC have shared their decisions. YES is the answer. Maybe not 100% of the Anangu population, but enough for them to understand a decision for why and when to close the uluru climbs.

Having spent some time it the Pitjantjatjara lands and having met them, I accept the Aboriginal people have their own decisions. Many of those decisions are things that we may never see or understand, but when we move to see THEIR lands, I accept their decisions. Just like we decide if we allow people to walk into our area like our house etc., and like the Government decided to stop people walking over the top of the Parliament building. All of us, including the Anangu, make decisions on the base of all of our available information.

Making lots of discussion by non-Anangu people might make them happy that they have a different opinion but the Anangu make their own choices for their own land, and that makes the difference.
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Re: uluru climbing to be banned from Oct 2019

Postby north-north-west » Mon 27 Aug, 2018 8:33 am

jdeks wrote:No, I don't want the climb closed. I'd personally rather see the whole darn park closed. The lease is an exploitative con that they were forced into, in the hope of getting some semblance of control back, and now it's politicised 'their' land while it's paved over so people can profit in their name. The utter hypocrisy of wealthy holidaygoers claiming they "respect" these people with intentions of following some arbitrary rule for a day, then ignoring their wider plight for the other 364 days of the year, is profound. I'd personally rather see the lease revoked, funding removed, Yulara razed, and access returned to an explicit permission based system, on their terms alone. Truly, make it their sanctuary, and theirs alone.


That, I can live with, if it is what they would prefer.

Part of the problem here is that we do not know what all the people affected would prefer. We can ask those we meet, but how open would they be about it, and how much cultural knowledge would those individuals have?
"Reconciliation" is a thorny issue in Australia, precisely because there are no simple solutions.
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Re: uluru climbing to be banned from Oct 2019

Postby jdeks » Fri 31 Aug, 2018 1:02 pm

north-north-west wrote:Part of the problem here is that we do not know what all the people affected would prefer. We can ask those we meet, but how open would they be about it, and how much cultural knowledge would those individuals have?
"Reconciliation" is a thorny issue in Australia, precisely because there are no simple solutions.


Central in that problem is the big questionmark over representation. For a whole bundle of reasons, we just plain don't know if the people claiming to speak for them, really do have the endorsement of the majority, and genuinely are relaying the will/s of their wider community, or rather their 'interpretation' of what the will of the community is...or maybe was....or what they think it should be?

Worse still though, is that it's considered extremely un-PC to even raise the question of whether we should be raising the question of the authority of any given elder/community leader. The intense scrutiny we have apply to our political bodies, isn't just absent in this area, it's often opposed.

A good parallel to look at here is the matter of Bluff Knoll in WA. Following a spate of social media attention (nudie selfies), we have one Aboriginal Elder and Law man (according to his cultural tour business website) asserting it's a sacred site and that much like Uluru, it really shouldn't be climbed, and prefers people to do cultural tours instead (like the ones he offers). Yet the local Gnowangerup Aboriginal Corporation chairman says climbing isn't an issue, and never has been. Both are claiming to speak for the values of the community as a whole, past and present. Neither is an elected representative of said community. Both have other vested interests in the site.

So - which 'Indigenous decision' are people to accept here?

Interestingly, the local parks department says despite numerous consultations in the past, climbing was never raised as an issue until now.
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Re: uluru climbing to be banned from Oct 2019

Postby wildwalks » Sun 02 Sep, 2018 7:19 pm

################################
Hi All
I have been following this thread for a few days and it is has taken a turn from awkard to (in my view) unhelpful to our community.
It has been some time since I have intervened as a moderator. I dislike taking such a step and do so after much consideration.

I have taken a simple approach here. I have removed any post in the last few pages that mention (or quote) the word 'racism'. Yes, this is very simplistic. The word is not banned, but I feel that this conversation took a turn from discussing the policy change to one of accusing people of being racist or not. This conversation was likely to keep spiralling downwards in a way that is not helpful for building community in our forum.

I removed all the posts with the word 'racism' regardless of the quality or value of the post. If I removed your post it was not necessarily because I thought it was offensive.

For the sake of our community, I ask that you consider taking a breath and get back to debating the value of the policy.

If you dislike what I have done, then we will probably not agree by debating this online. If you want to discuss this with me when I ask that you PM me and we work out a time to chat on the phone or if you are in Sydney then let's do coffee or go for a walk and chat.

Thanks

Matt :)
################################
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Re: uluru climbing to be banned from Oct 2019

Postby ribuck » Mon 03 Sep, 2018 5:17 am

So I'm considering going back for one last climb before Oct 2019. I have no real reason to visit Uluru except for the climb, as I've walked around the rock many times, and cycled around it, and watched sunrise/sunset from various places, and done plenty of walking in the few permitted parts of the olgas

I enjoyed those experiences, but none of them were as amazing as climbing up the rock and watching the flat desert landscape pop into three dimensions as the many distant mountains came into view.

My thinking is that the local community benefits more from the tourism dollar that I bring into the area, than that the local community is disadvantaged by my presence on a climb that is not yet closed.
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Re: uluru climbing to be banned from Oct 2019

Postby freetoroam » Mon 03 Sep, 2018 8:42 am

Based on 2011-2015 Parks data the best chance to find the climb open is in winter with August being the month with the most Fully open days (ave 9) and lowest number of fully closed days (ave 6), partly open for the rest of the time. Weather is better for walking this time of year and there are less flies. If you are going for the climb I would not bother going outside of June July and August under the current closure system.
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Re: uluru climbing to be banned from Oct 2019

Postby GPSGuided » Mon 03 Sep, 2018 10:50 am

What is ‘partly open’?
Just move it!
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Re: uluru climbing to be banned from Oct 2019

Postby freetoroam » Mon 03 Sep, 2018 3:15 pm

This classification used in a statistical analysis of climbing data undertaken on behalf of Parks Australia. Partly open refers to days access to the climb is not open all day (ie from 7am-5 pm). Parks Australia Rangers nominally are supposed to monitor conditions every few hours and open or close the climb according to the closure conditions. On a "partly"open day the climb may only be open for an hour, up to 9 hours. Note the climb is closed 80% of the time.

FULLY OPEN Climb is open from 7am to 5pm
PARTLY OPEN climb is open for a number of hours sometime during the day
CLOSED climb is closed - no legal access

Closure conditions:
The climb is closed:
when the temperature reaches 36 degrees Celsius or above
during the hot summer months December, January and February after 8am
when there is a greater than 20% chance of rain within three hours
when there is a greater than 5% chance of thunderstorms within three hours
if the estimated wind speed at the summit reaches 25 knots or above
if more than 20 per cent of the rock's surface is wet after rain
if cloud descends below the summit
the climb may also be closed for cultural reasons
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Re: uluru climbing to be banned from Oct 2019

Postby ribuck » Tue 04 Sep, 2018 2:51 am

Thank you, freetoroam. I didn't know that statistics were kept relating to the climb closures.
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Re: uluru climbing to be banned from Oct 2019

Postby GPSGuided » Wed 05 Sep, 2018 9:21 am

+1 on the details of the classification. Thanks.
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Re: uluru climbing to be banned from Oct 2019

Postby Tekker76 » Wed 12 Sep, 2018 12:42 pm

I tend to agree Jdeks about representation with communities. More than a few examples of communities not having a great track record We just had another access area closed that went from bushland to a tourist attraction to closed off because the money dissappeared. The issue is when you say traditional ownership a great deal of the oversight is waived as part of 'respecting the culture'. Humans being what they are, unscrupulous will always find a way in.

Mining deals are a classic, they want to dig up a bunch of land, the traditional owners say no way. Money changes hands, agreements are made to save as many sacred trees etc as possible. The trad owners walk in, identify x amount of objects, charge 50K for each one or similar to transplant them elsewhere. Even the sacred spirits of the ancestors can be relocated if the price is right.
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Re: uluru climbing to be banned from Oct 2019

Postby Tommydoodle » Wed 16 Jan, 2019 2:01 am

A bit off topic, but I worked at Mutitjulu in the 90's, and one of the locals showed me photos of Uluru covered in snow. It happened in 1984 I believe. Anyone heard of it happening since?
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Re: uluru climbing to be banned from Oct 2019

Postby ribuck » Wed 16 Jan, 2019 7:06 am

Tommydoodle wrote:...one of the locals showed me photos of Uluru covered in snow.

There was once a stunt where a TV station brought in a truckload of snow, spread it on part of the base of the rock, and skied down it.
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Re: uluru climbing to be banned from Oct 2019

Postby ribuck » Wed 16 Jan, 2019 4:58 pm

...and here's a TV news item about a light dusting of snow over Uluru on 11 July 1997:

https://www.nfsa.gov.au/collection/curated/snow-uluru
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