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Rudd must not close the Uluru climb.



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Wed, 8th July 2009

RUDD MUST NOT CLOSE THE ULURU CLIMB

The Hon Greg Hunt MP

Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Water

Kevin Rudd must veto any plans by Peter Garrett to shut down Australia’s world-famous Uluru climb.

Plans to close the climb have been outlined in a draft management plan for Uluru released today by Peter

Garrett’s office.

Under the Garrett plan, visitors from around Australia and the world would be stopped from completing the

majestic and exhilarating journey.

At a time when Australia’s tourism industry is facing massive challenges from the global financial crisis, and the

350,000 annual visitor figure at Uluru is at risk, how can the Rudd Government even contemplate such a move?

The Prime Minister cannot allow Peter Garrett to go ahead with his plan to close the climb.

I have always suspected that closing the Rock to walkers was on Labor’s agenda. Today we see the start of their

plan to end one of the great tourism experiences in Australia.

Indeed, it was a Coalition Government that provided $20 million for a world-class viewing platform, but it was a

Labor Government that is planning to take away people’s choice.

Big Brother is coming to Uluru to slam the gate closed on an Australian tourism icon, the climb.

Peter Garrett would forever be the Minister who Closed the Climb.

Kevin Rudd would be the Prime Minister who shut down a sensitively-maintained, world-class tourist attraction in

the midst of an international financial crisis.

Uluru is an Indigenous treasure. It is also a national and an international treasure.

I support allowing people to make up their own minds about whether to make the climb.

It is a matter of enabling ‘informed consent’ - providing people with relevant information about cultural

sensitivities, weather conditions and potential risks and allowing them to make the decision as to how best to

honour and experience Uluru.