Push to reopen the Uluru climb to kick start tourism in the NT following COVID-19 has been labelled ‘alarming’ by an MP.
Push to reopen the Uluru climb to kick start tourism in the NT following COVID-19 has been labelled ‘alarming’ by an MP.

Call to reopen Uluru climb labelled ‘alarming’

A SUGGESTION of reopening the Uluru climb to kick start tourism in the NT following COVID-19 has been labelled "alarming" by Member for Namatjira Chansey Paech.

Speaking in response to a radio interview by Alice Springs business group chairman Dave Batic, where he suggested reopening the Uluru climb, Mr Paech said he "could not believe" the idea was floated.

He added it was important to attract tourists to the NT once border restrictions were eased, instead suggesting holding an Uluru Festival celebrating the culture and achievements of the Anangu people.

"Uluru will always be an attraction for people to come to Central Australia," he said.

"They will always want to visit and look at the majesty of Uluru.

"We have to work together with Yulara, the Mutitjulu community, Parks Australia and tourism operators to market Uluru to get the maximum result.

"A comment on radio about possibly reopening the climb was alarming to me. I could not believe it was being verbalised.

"A significant amount of work has been done by traditional owners and Parks to get to where we are now.

"I will stand by my constituents and oppose and move to reopen the climb."

The idea of reopening the climb was raised by business group chairman Dave Batic in an interview about the need to build the National Aboriginal Art Gallery as an attraction for tourists to stimulate a post-COVID-19 economy recovery.

Chansey Paech has slammed calls to reopen the Uluru climb. Picture: EMMA MURRAY
Chansey Paech has slammed calls to reopen the Uluru climb. Picture: EMMA MURRAY

A Parks Australia spokesperson said decisions about the park are made by the Board of Management.

The Uluru climb closed permanently on October, 26 2019 and the climb chain infrastructure was removed.

"The closure represents the long-held wishes of the park's traditional owners, Anangu," the spokesperson said.

"It supports the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Board's vision that Uluru is a place where Tjukurpa (traditional law) is kept strong for future generations."

Originally published as Call to reopen Uluru climb after COVID-19 'alarming'