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Man fined thousands after becoming the first person convicted of illegally climbing Uluru

Man fined thousands after becoming the first person convicted of illegally climbing Uluru

The Victorian man was fined $2,500 after pleading guilty at Alice Spring Local Court.

A Victorian man has become the first person to be fined for scaling Uluru since a blanket climbing ban for the sacred rock came into action in 2019.

ABC News reports that Simon Day was found guilty of walking or riding the landmark and entering a restricted area at the Alice Springs Local Court.

As a result, the 44-year-old was fined $2,500 (USD $1,719 or £1,453).

The director of National Parks told the outlet that they take the protection of the sacred site ‘very seriously’.

They said: "Uluru has great spiritual significance to Anangu and is a significant part of Tjukurpa (customary law).

Keitma / Alamy Stock Photo

"Tjukurpa [which refers to the creation period when ancestral beings, Tjukuritja, created the world] requires that Anangu take responsibility for looking after their sacred sites and visitors to their country.

"Traditional owners have a cultural responsibility to look after the Uluru rock formation and the surrounding park area."

Climbing was prohibited from the sacred rock in October 2019 after the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Board of Management voted unanimously, citing that the rock was a spiritual site as well as for environmental and hazardous reasons, according to The Guardian.

At the time, former chairman of the board, Sammy Wilson said of the decision: “The land has law and culture. We welcome tourists here. 

Bill Bachman / Alamy Stock Photo

“Closing the climb is not something to feel upset about but a cause for celebration. Let’s come together; let’s close it together.”

Wilson added that it was essential to convey to the public that Uluru was not a ‘theme park or playground’.

While he welcomes tourism, Wilson said it should not come at the cost of the Indigenous community as ‘where Anangu see it as Tjukurpa. If Tjukurpa is gone, so is everything'.

An Aboriginal elder also told BBC News after many years of Indigenous people fighting to restrict access, it was time for the sacred site to ‘rest and heal’.

Before its closure on October 26, thousands of tourists and travellers headed to the Northern Territory to climb the landmark one last time.

Dean Beveridge and his wife Chris were among those who scaled the rock on the last day. They told ABC News: "My wife and I climbed it years ago and we just wanted the kids to have the opportunity to do that.

"Whilst I respect that, I wish there was an opportunity for them to maybe understand that there are different ways we show respect to peoples' religious sites."

Featured Image Credit: Leigh Henningham / Alamy Stock Photo. / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Australia