So, in case you haven’t been following along, there has been talk for quite some time about closing the Uluru climb.
A whole lot of tourists, despite being educated about the issues the Anangu people have with the climb of this sacred site, choose to do it anyway. And they piss up there, and shit on the rock. They’re contributing to erosion and environmental damage. They also fall off and die, which the locals aren’t happy about, as they feel a responsibility toward visitors to their homelands.
The climb has been allowed for this long because the Government reneged on conditions they had previously agreed to when the 1983 lease was negotiated. So this is not some recent change of heart; the Government have been fucking the locals over for decades.
Talk of closing the climb draws intense cries of outrage from white conquistadors across Australia. It’s OUR land! They cry. The feeling of TRIUMPH I had when I climbed that rock, there was nothing like it! We have the right to conquer these natural landmarks! It’s a rite of passage in whitey Australian cultcha! It’s my God-given right to climb it! We flew to the Moon, and now someone wants to stop us climbing a rock? Fucking [racist expletive]s think they own the place! They’re all bludging fakers anyhow! How DARE anyone take that heroic feeling away from me! You’re racist against white people!
The climb policy was recently reviewed. Today, the determination was handed down – still no closure.
The government in their infinite wisdom has decided that they might assent to closure one day – but only if certain conditions are met.
One condition is that tourists are given “something else to do” in the Uluru/Yulara area, because deity forbid that guests should actually enjoy the incredible natural environment respectfully and learn about the local land and culture, without being spoon-fed things to conquer and toys to play with. Here’s a thought: use your imaginations, you feckless clods. Check out sunrise and sunset, travel around Uluru (an astonishing experience), take rock art and bush tucker tours, visit Kata Tjuta (even more astonishing), visit the Cultural Centre, have dinner under the stars, go to the fucking pub, and above all get over yourselves.
Another condition is – get this – that the number of climbers must drop from the current 38% to below 20% before any closure will be considered. Consider my mind thoroughly boggled. I’ve been busting a gut trying to come up with where there’s any sort of precedent.
It’s like the conversation went like this:
Anangu: Hey, we’ve been educating and educating, and still the tourists insist on climbing and shitting on Uluru. How bout we revisit that 1983 agreement where you shat all over us too? We could use a hand here.
Whitefella government: A hand? Sure, no problem! First, though, you have to educate and educate and get the tourists to stop climbing and shitting on Uluru. Do that and get back to us, ok?