‘If you’re stupid enough to climb it, climb it’: Pauline Hanson backflips on her stance to keep Uluru open to tourists – because she says it’s unsafe
- Pauline Hanson has changed her mind about climbing Uluru after scaling rock
- One Nation leader sees sense in banning the climb ‘due to safety reasons’
- Ms Hanson climbed Uluru last week but only made it 40m before turning back
Pauline Hanson has backflipped on her stance to keep Uluru open to tourists after attempting to scale the famous rock herself.
The One Nation Senator said could see the sense in banning the climb because it is too dangerous.
‘I can see the sense in banning the climbing of the rock, due to safety reasons,’ Hanson told the Today show this morning.
‘I couldn’t believe how steep the climb is. There is only a chain going up it, and if you actually start to slip or fall… 35 people have lost their lives on that rock,’ Hanson said.
The One Nation Senator said could see the sense in banning the climb because it is too dangerous
Ms Hanson also said that she just wanted to speak to traditional owners of the land when she visited Uluru and had no intention of climbing the rock.
‘I was invited there to go and talk with (the traditional owners) about their concerns,’ she told Georgie Gardner.
‘Patty Uluru said the sacredness is not in the climbing of the rock.
‘If you’re stupid enough to climb the rock, climb it.
‘The sacred is in the land and the stories connected with the land and that’s what it’s about and not about climbing the rock.’
But was invited to do the climb herself last Thursday, which was filmed for an item for A Current Affair
Ms Hanson has previously criticised the decision to ban tourists from scaling the rock.
But was invited to do the climb herself last Thursday, which was filmed for an item for A Current Affair.
Ms Hanson struggled to make her way up the monolith and complained she could not get down.
‘I cannot walk down here. My boots are that bloody old. They’re so smooth I’m not getting any grip. I tell you what, I’m not getting any grip on my backside either,’ she said as she tried to inch her way back down.
The senator is reported to have only made it 40 metres up the rock before turning back.
Uluru will be closed off to climbers in October after a decision was made to prevent future scaling of the sacred site.
Ms Hanson previously compared the move to closing Bondi Beach in Sydney’s east.
She said the sacred rock should remain open for climbing because ‘we’ve been climbing the Ayers Rock, or Uluru, for many years’.
Uluru will be closed off to climbers in October after a decision was made to prevent future scaling of the sacred site
WHY DID ABORIGINAL ELDERS ASK FOR A BAN ON CLIMBING ULURU?
It was announced in November 2017 that climbing Uluru, considered a sacred site by the local Anangu people, would be banned from October 26, 2019.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park’s board of management, made up of a majority of Aboriginal traditional owners, unanimously decided to close the climb.
Traditional owner and board chairman Sammy Wilson said on behalf of the Anangu people it was time to do so.
‘We’ve talked about it for so long and now we’re able to close the climb,’ Mr Wilson said. ‘It’s about protection through combining two systems, the government and Anangu.
‘This decision is for both Anangu and non-Anangu together to feel proud about; to realise, of course it’s the right thing to close it.
‘The land has law and culture. We welcome tourists here. Closing the climb is not something to feel upset about but a cause for celebration. Let’s come together, let’s close it together.
‘If I travel to another country and there is a sacred site, an area of restricted access, I don’t enter or climb it, I respect it. It is the same here for Anangu. We welcome tourists here. We are not stopping tourism, just this activity.’
On 26 October 1985 Uluru and Kata Tjuta – formerly known as the Olgas – were handed back to the Anangu people.