Senator Pauline Hanson at Parliament House in Canberra. PICTURE KYM SMITH
Senator Pauline Hanson at Parliament House in Canberra. PICTURE KYM SMITH

Pauline Hanson to climb the Rock today

DIVISIVE One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has touched down in Central Australia and plans to climb Uluru this afternoon.

In a post on her official Facebook page, Ms Hanson wrote: "The Anangu Mayatja Council of Elders have invited me to the Rock for discussions about their future following my calls for the climb to remain open

"I arrived yesterday afternoon and held talks with the two sons of Paddy Uluru who was the traditional owner and other family members.

"Today I will meet with around 15 of their Anangu Mayatja Council of Elders and attempt to climb the Rock if the wind has dropped off.

"I'll keep you posted."

Ms Hanson said taxpayers had not paid for her flights.

The Uluru climb will close for good on October 26 this year.

Although against the wishes of the traditional owners, tourists flock to Uluru to climb to the top of the rock, Yulara, Oct. 28, 2006. (AAP Image/Terry Trewin)
Although against the wishes of the traditional owners, tourists flock to Uluru to climb to the top of the rock, Yulara, Oct. 28, 2006. (AAP Image/Terry Trewin)

In July, Ms Hanson criticised the upcoming closure on Today and said it was "no different to coming out and saying, 'We're going to close down Bondi Beach because there are some people that have drowned'. How ridiculous is that?"

The One Nation leader said nothing needed to change because "we've been climbing the Ayers Rock, or Uluru, for many years".

"The Australian taxpayers put in millions, hundreds of millions of dollars into it and they're wanting another $27.5 million to upgrade the airport there for the resort," she said.

"Now the resort has only returned $19 million to the taxpayers only just recently. It employs over 400 people there, 38 per cent are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

"The fact is, it's money-making. It's giving jobs to indigenous communities, and you've got thousands of tourists who go there every year and want to climb the rock."

A view of the entrance to the Mala Walk trail at Uluru. (PHOTO BY LISA MAREE WILLIAMS/GETTY IMAGES)
A view of the entrance to the Mala Walk trail at Uluru. (PHOTO BY LISA MAREE WILLIAMS/GETTY IMAGES)

In November 2017, the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Board started the countdown of when the climb would be closed permanently.

The date of October 26, 2019 was put forward - a significant day for the Anangu indigenous community because it was that day in 1985 that the government returned ownership of the land to the traditional owners.

But since setting the date, the number of people climbing Uluru has skyrocketed.

Before park management announced it was closing the climb, around 140 people were climbing Uluru each day.

Since then, the number has doubled and at times tripled to 300-500 daily visitors.

Ms Hanson said she was struggling to understand the "cultural sensitivity" around Uluru.

"It is an iconic site for all Australians," she said.

"I can't see the cultural sensitivity when people have been climbing the rock for all these years, and all of a sudden they want to shut it down? I don't get it, I really don't get it, and how are they going to pay back the Australian taxpayer?"



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