National

Hanson at Uluru and may make the climb

By AAP Newswire

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has travelled to Uluru after controversially calling for indigenous leaders to overturn their pending ban on climbing the rock.

Senator Hanson says she will also attempt the climb on Wednesday, weather permitting, with strong winds in the area an issue.

She said the Anangu Mayatja Council invited her to Uluru to discuss their future after her criticism of the decision to ban climbing from later this year.

"I arrived yesterday afternoon and held talks with the two sons of Paddy Uluru who was the traditional owner and other family members," Senator Hanson said on her Facebook page.

"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."

In 2017 the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Board voted unanimously to close the climb in a decision widely welcomed by indigenous leaders who said it recognised the cultural significance of the site and would "right an historic wrong".

The last day to climb has been set for October 26.

"This decision has been a very long time coming and our thoughts are with the elders who have longed for this day but are no longer with us to celebrate it," Central Land Council director David Ross said at the time.

But in recent comments, Senator Hanson likened banning the climb to closing Bondi Beach.

"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," she said.

About 300,000 people visit the area each year but the number who opt to climb Uluru has been steadily falling.

Figures from Parks Australia indicated only 16 per cent of visitors to the park made the climb between 2011 and 2015, down from about 74 per cent in the 1990s.

Though there has been a spike in recent months, most likely because of the impending ban.

Senator Hanson's vow to climb Uluru was met with considerable criticism on social media though comments to her Facebook page also indicated a level of support