In an interview that is sure to have many an Aussie giving themselves a face palm, outspoken One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has provided her take on the Uluru climbing ban.
Speaking on Channel 9’s Today show this morning, Hanson put forwards her case against the ban on people scaling the sacred landmark, which kicks in on 26 October, arguing it was no different to closing down Bondi Beach.
“The fact is it’s money-making. It’s giving jobs to the Indigenous community; you’ve got over four to 500,000 tourists a year that want to go there and climb the rock,” she told host Deborah Knight.
“It’s no different to coming out and saying, ‘We’re going to close down Bondi Beach because there are some people there that have drowned.’ How ridiculous is that?
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) July 14, 2019
“This is an iconic site for all Australians. I can’t see the cultural sensitivity when people have been climbing the rock all these years, and now 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?”
Hanson was joined on the Today show by radio shock jock Steve Price, who echoed the One Nation Leader’s view.
“I think what we need to do is sit down with [the Indigenous population] and explain that [letting people climb Uluru] could be a positive for them,” he said.
“I mean, we’re trying to find jobs for Indigenous Australians in remote parts of Australia, and it’s very difficult.
“If you’ve got an asset like that, I don’t understand why you can’t manage the climbing of it. Maybe you’ve got to limit the numbers, maybe you’ve got to make it such a special occasion for someone to do it that’s only two or three at a time – I don’t know.
The controversial comments of Hanson and Price come not long after recent photos showing hordes of tourists climbing Uluru surfaced online, prompting a frustrated response from Intrepid Travel.