The Chaser and Uluru

My social media brought an article about the Chaser – comedians apparently – to my attention.

As Aussies continue to argue whether it’s okay to climb Uluru, a rock formation that’s incredibly sacred to Aboriginal Australians, The Chaser has tried to show what a Western equivalent would look like.

Julian Morrow decided to head to St John’s Cathedral in Canberra and see if he could scale it and get to the top.

When the cops told Julian to come down he replied: “We don’t need to respect the owner’s wishes do we? It’s just there’s a really good photo up the top.”

This incident does generate some interesting ideas.

In the first instance, we need to think about the difference between private ownership and “traditional” ownership. It turns out that a building in building in Canberra owned by a church is private property and if you try to climb it the owners may very well call the police. They are exercising their right to exclude non-owners from using the building in particular ways. I think this is somewhat uncontroversial.

But what does traditional ownership mean? At the very least, it is obviously not private ownership. The term is nuanced and complex.

But what does the term ‘traditional owner’ actually mean? It does not appear anywhere in the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) and yet it is common for many Indigenous Land Use Agreements, which are provided for under the Act, to name the Indigenous group or groups which are party to the agreement as those asserting ‘traditional ownership’ of the area of that agreement.

As a practical matter I suspect we have a working definition: would-have-had-possession-but-for-colonisation.  Okay. But here we are. Colonisation happened and indigenous Australians were dispossessed of their property.

So let’s think about Uluru.

Uluru has been privatised. It has moved from being within a public property rights regime – non-rival and non-excludable to to being a club-good; still non-rival, but now excludable. The ownership of Uluru has changed from the Commonwealth government (presumably on behalf of the citizens of Australia – but that is basically just propaganda) to a subset of those citizens. Now in many respects this is no different from any other form of privatisation.

But now we should as the same sorts of question that we would of any privatisation process. To what end? Why? Who gets the rents? What is the benefit to the community? Is the broader community getting good value from the privatisation? etc. etc. etc.

Once we see this issue in this light, we can have a legitimate debate about what is happening, without religious bigotry coming into play.

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91 Responses to The Chaser and Uluru

  1. Roger

    As I understand it, the local indigenous elders who received custodianship of Ayer’s Rock gave an undertaking that the climb would remain open. Indeed, Bob Hawke insisted on that as a condition of the agreement. Was it put in writing? I don’t know.

  2. Fred

    The Chaser should head to Europe and try to climb St Peters Basilica.

  3. Lee

    Even thirty or forty years ago, the local elders were pooh-poohing the idea of Uluru being so sacred it should be off-limits to non-Aborigines.

    Since then, of course, leftist do-badders and other wankers have stuck their noses in where they were neither needed nor wanted.

  4. Lee

    The Chaser should head to Europe and try to climb St Peters Basilica.

    Preferably without safety harnesses and parachutes.

  5. Karabar

    And who pays the taxes?

  6. Lee

    Go to https://quadrant.org.au/?s=Uluru and read in particular Marc Hendrickx’s various articles on the myths and nonsense propagated, in order to stop people climbing Uluru.

  7. C.L.

    a rock formation that’s incredibly sacred to Aboriginal Australians

    This is obvious nonsense at the very outset.
    Hardly any Aboriginal Australians were even aware it existed until they saw photographs of it.

    Given that “Chaser” decided to use a Canberra monolith, it should have occurred to them that Parliament House was a better comparison and that – guess what? – it was designed to be walked over.

  8. Lee

    Of course, perfectly “normal” people climb up Catholic churches/steeples, but natural features like mountains and hills should absolutely be off-limits on claimed religious and cultural grounds (/sarc).

  9. Leo G

    But what does traditional ownership mean?

    It means that Europeans are defined as traditional itinerants insofar as a traditional owner is recognised as “a descendant of the tribe or ethnic group that occupied a particular region before European settlement”.

  10. Allan

    There is no St John’s cathedral in Canberra. The only cathedral is St Christopher’s, the catholic one. The anglicans were gifted land next to the now lake but have declined to build one. Instead a former bishop used the land as an open meeting place which includes aboriginal artefacts.

  11. bollux

    They lost and don’t “own” anything. IMHO.

  12. Buccaneer

    If this is the church they climbed it doesn’t take a genius to work out they were kicked off for their own safety. Might be a tad hard to stop the schadenfreude should they end up with a nasty lung disease.

  13. Ivan Denisovich

    Hardly any Aboriginal Australians were even aware it existed until they saw photographs of it.

    Secret Women’s Business.

  14. Ivan Denisovich

    Give it about as much credence as the Hindmarsh Island Bridge b/s.

  15. Once we see this issue in this light, we can have a legitimate debate about what is happening, without religious bigotry coming into play.

    Like I’ve been saying for a while now, if we bottle unicorn farts, we can power the Globe.

  16. Leo G

    They lost and don’t “own” anything.

    It is rather confusing.
    A traditional owner of a location appears to be a descendant of a former occupant (before Europeans settled in any defined territory which includes that place) of that place.
    The “traditional” element signifies that the former occupant, if not of European descent, automatically hands down their occupancy rights to all their descendants.
    The descendant appears ascendant, unless tainted by European descent.

  17. egg_

    Julian Morrow decided to head to St John’s Cathedral in Canberra and see if he could scale it and get to the top.

    Middle Aged wanker.
    Was Aunty insuring him to do so?

  18. a happy little debunker

    It was handed to a subset, but what rates and taxes do they pay for the property?

    What services do they actually provide visitors and who pays for those services?

    I think it is safe to conclude that the property was not handed over to ‘private’ interests and is therefore is still in public hands.

    If Pauline is granted permission to climb the Rock – why can’t everyone else be granted with the same permission?

  19. egg_

    Hardly any Aboriginal Australians were even aware it existed until they saw photographs of it.

    There were no traditional Aboriginal photos to hand around?

  20. Percy Popinjay

    The Chaser middle aged domestic violence drongos are to comedy what the alleged “traditional owners” are to Ayers Rock tourism.

  21. Dr Fred Lenin

    Them chasers were alpbc “comedians” the only funnt thing is to call anyone who works on the alpbc a “comedian”,they are as funny as a wetwinters day in Canberra .

  22. Let’s wait and see how the drop in tourism affects this ‘initiative’. Drop in revenue? Let’s demand more handouts from the taxpayer.

  23. stackja

    On 19 July 1873, the surveyor William Gosse sighted the landmark and named it Ayers Rock in honour of the then Chief Secretary of South Australia, Sir Henry Ayers.

    Did Gosse meet anyone already there?
    AWA Building is private?

    Boys aged 13 and 14 who climbed 99m AWA tower given caution
    Two boys, aged 13 and 14, have been revealed as the pair filmed climbing to the top of a 99m tower in Sydney’s CBD.

    Candace [email protected] news.com.au JULY 23, 2019 7:00AM

    Two boys, aged 13 and 14, have been revealed as the pair caught on video climbing the 99m high AWA Tower building in central Sydney.

    Channel 9 reported the boys had been arrested by police after one of them made the death-defying decision to climb outside the cage onto the top of the spire and hang on with just one hand while appearing to take a selfie.

    They were taken to Day Street Police Station where they were met by their parents and spoken to by police.

    The boys will receive an official Youth Caution under the Young Offenders Act.

  24. egg_

    Them chasers were alpbc “comedians” the only funnt thing is to call anyone who works on the alpbc a “comedian”,they are as funny as a wetwinters day in Canberra .

    S’OK, Aunty has DV leave, for all those battering lezzos.

  25. Rossini

    Roger
    #3142715,
    posted on August 28, 2019 at 3:41 pm
    What language was it written in if recorded?????

  26. Tim Neilson

    The Chaser should head to Europe and try to climb St Peters Basilica.

    They should head to Mecca and try to climb the Kaaba.

    without religious bigotry coming into play.

    The only “religious bigotry”in play here is the automatic assumption by ABC types and their cheer squad that the the “humorous” response to any situation must involve being as offensive as possible to Christians.

  27. Des Deskperson

    Wasn’t Morrow the one who shat himself and started grovelling, after Sheik Hilali called him a racist during some stunt or other,

    My memory from the last time I visited Uluru in 2014 was was the plastic drink bottles dropped by climbers rolling and tumbling down the rock face. I don’t recall any climber attempting to retrieve the dropped bottles and dispose of them properly.

    This sort of behaviour by climbers can’t have helped the case for the climb.

  28. herodotus

    They were “disposessed” often, and merely by the next tribe who happened to want *their land and their women.
    The Europeans who came along (inevitably) were a bigger, stronger tribe, but also brought over time the pattern of life which to this day gives better end results than the “arcadian noble savage” had or has for the most part.
    * That’s what local wars and skirmishes were all about.
    There was no “nation”. No wheel. No billy can.

  29. None

    There is no such thing as “ownership c in traditional aboriginal culture much less “traditional ownership. Tribes wandered over a patch of land and sometimes fought over it as even early Settler Diaries will tell you. We can always go back to contesting the so-called ownership of Uluru. The concept of Sacred does not apply to traditional aboriginal religions.

  30. Lee

    Also from that error-riddle article linked at the top of Sinc’s commentary:

    In a bid to show why it was so important for Aussies to disregard Aboriginal people’s wishes and scale Uluru, Ms Hanson attempted to walk to the top last week.

    It was a stunt that divided people, however footage revealed Ms Hanson getting stuck as she was coming down because of the steep decline.

    After experiencing this little mishap, the politician agreed that the ban should come into effect, only from a safety point of view – if they could make it safer then she’s all good about people continuing to climb it.

    Ms Hanson, like other Australians, believe it’s their birthright to climb the rock because it’s part of our country.

    No, in fact Ms Hanson was invited to climb Uluru by local Aboriginal elders, you self-righteous jerk!

  31. struth

    Private property funded by taxpayers.
    A business that will never go broke while it bans other races from doing what they themselves did.
    And there’s photographc proof of that.
    The rock isn’t owned by anyone because nobody built it or has any right to it based on their race.
    There are two language groups that now claim it and the cherry picking of history means aboriginal wars and raids never happened.
    No group lived there permanently as they would have died.
    They were semi nomadic hunters and gatherers and in Central Australia were found in groups not larger than 15 due to what the land could provide and vast distaces were covered to stay alive.

    The lies started at the Rock in the early ninties about the time they banned Bill Harney’s books and got rid of the old tour drivers and rewrote unwritten and written history.
    It’s actually sickening to go there and anyone who claims they OWN such a majestic world wonder thinks tooblittle of it to claim it as sacred.
    I have seen people from all over the world get quite emotional upon visiting it and by the way.
    Fuckvyou racist arseholes who tell me that it can’t be just a sacred to me because of my white skin.
    I have avdeep love for Ayers Rock.
    How dare you tell me I can’t love it as much as someone with black skin many who I’ve witnessed in my time not give a shit about it.
    I spent a great part of my life showing thousands the Rock.
    I’ll put my knowledge of it up against any of the blackfellas and indeed Rangers there.

    Pure racist arseholes.
    The pratts called chaser boys virtue signal from their urban ignorance.
    Pathetic.

  32. Rossini

    Hardly any Aboriginal Australians were even aware it existed until they saw photographs of it.
    What about all those finger painted drawings in the caves stretching from Hobart to Darwin via Sydney!
    Surly after a million plus years of occupation those drawings must be there!

  33. Lee

    The only “religious bigotry”in play here is the automatic assumption by ABC types and their cheer squad that the the “humorous” response to any situation must involve being as offensive as possible to Christians.

    It figures that they chose to climb a Catholic church, instead of any other denomination.

    Bet they would have been too gutless to even attempt to climb a mosque, lest they offend their lefty mates, or angry worshippers of that faith.

  34. Rossini

    Des Deskperson
    #3142794, posted on August 28, 2019 at 5:16 pm
    This sort of behaviour by climbers can’t have helped the case for the climb.
    Peasants dropping crap at the various beaches around Australia hasn’t closed the beached to them

  35. struth

    I’ve spent much of my life showing the world my great love.
    The Australian outback.
    Now I’m told to fuck off , I couldn’t possibly love it or feel it’s sacred because I am white.
    Thank you Australia, you bunch of dumd c…ts.
    Here’s another take.
    To really connect with the sacred many around the world climb sacred things.
    Maybe the tuth is that others actually feel it is more sacred to them and desire to take it all in and commne with it by climbing it.
    How many aboriginals from other areas of Australia go out of their way to even visit it?

  36. I_am_not_a_robot

    The Chaser has tried to show what a Western equivalent would look like …

    Only a few individuals if any of the say 500,000 indigenous people living on the continent and Tasmania in 1788 would have been aware of the existence of the rock.
    Tourists climb the dome of St Peter’s in Rome, St Paul’s in London, the Duomo in Florence and over the roof of the Duomo in Milan, all “incredibly sacred” to Christians.

  37. Chris

    This is just the start of it.
    A couple of years ago an organisation was advertising on Facebook for their big idea ‘Ranger Parks’.
    The idea is, the Government hands over massive slabs of Australia as National Parks, which would be staffed on Government salaries by Aboriginal People.
    BINGO! Meaningful life, adequate livings for most aboriginal people. Unicorns gambol, rainbows in every direction and everything sparkles.
    One question my friends:
    Who is paying?
    Where did the money come from for these ads? Who was supporting the organisation?
    Who would pay the salaries, and from what?
    Who would compensate the people of Australia for the land being locked up, no mining, no pastoral industry, no tourism (except facilitated by these ‘rangers’)?

    Find them. Expose them, and get their funding stopped.

  38. Davey Boy

    Ethnological Studies among the North-West-Central Queensland Aborigines.
    By Walter E. Roth, 1891. Cornell University Library.
    PDF link:
    https://ia802604.us.archive.org/26/items/cu31924029890328/cu31924029890328.pdf
    When the time for Truth Telling comes, as requested by the Uluru Statement from the Heart, will the Traditions described in Chapter XIII be airbrushed away?

  39. duncanm

    Roger
    #3142715, posted on August 28, 2019 at 3:41 pm
    As I understand it, the local indigenous elders who received custodianship of Ayer’s Rock gave an undertaking that the climb would remain open. Indeed, Bob Hawke insisted on that as a condition of the agreement. Was it put in writing? I don’t know.

    its more complicated than that.

    I understand the traditional owners (Anangu) then gave NPWS a 99 year lease

  40. duncanm

    Julian Morrow would have been quite at liberty to walk into St John’s and wander about the public spaces.

    Can I say the same about the hallowed ABC headquarters in Ultimo?

  41. Squirrel

    This presumably means the Chaser “boys” (so sad) will be turning over the title deeds of their inner Sydney homes to the traditional owners of the stolen land on which those homes were built.

  42. Mater

    would-have-had-possession-but-for-colonisation.

    So following this logic, no one with a drop of European blood in them can be a ‘traditional owner’.
    They simply wouldn’t have existed, let alone possessing parts of Australia.

    A new working definition might be required.

  43. Tel

    I understand the traditional owners (Anangu) then gave NPWS a 99 year lease

    Hopefully the lease payments are stopping this year.

  44. A Lurker

    A comparison…

    Stonehenge dates back to the Neolithic and is around 4000-5000 years old.
    Stonehenge is a man-made, sacred site for many British and Celtic people.
    Stonehenge is, I believe, owned by the British Government and managed by English Heritage.
    Human burials have been found at Stonehenge, along with various ancient artifacts.
    Stonehenge has links to the nearby Neolithic settlement of Durrington Walls where Woodhenge is located.
    Although entry is prohibited to Stonehenge (I think due to tourists trying to break off stone chips), group visits can be arranged and also the Stones are accessible during the Summer Solstice.
    Stonehenge is a good money-earner for English Heritage.

    Uluru is a natural rock formation.
    It’s highly questionable how much of the rock is an Aboriginal sacred site.
    Uluru previously was a good money-earner for the local economy, it is uncertain how long it will continue to be a good money earner once it is closed to climbers.

  45. struth

    The money will flow in for the select few “rangers” and aboriginal layabouts there as it always does.
    Via the taxpayers.
    Tourists visiting is just too much hassle.
    The NPWS hate all humans except for themselves.

  46. duncanm

    Hopefully the lease payments are stopping this year.

    Nope.. check out the terms. $150k indexed plus 25% of receipts

  47. Roger

    I understand the traditional owners (Anangu) then gave NPWS a 99 year lease

    So the traditional owners had no problem with climbers but NPWS does?

    The local indigenous folk would disassociate themselves from this if they knew what was in their best interests.

  48. iamok

    I climbed the Rock in 1973 and I was awestruck by its majesty. It was truly an unforgettable experience that everyone should be able to do. And my view is that no-one owns it, whatever the political shitstorm might say. This is just another brick in the wall against the real, tangible and universal benefits of Western civilisation. Versus the barbaric elitism of socialism and communism. Unfortunately I sincerely dread that we are losing the game in Oz. As an island with a small population, we have become myopic and insular and think we have to be seen to lead (aka punch above our weight). Hence we go a step further on every latest fad. MORE inclusivity and diversity. MORE renewables. MORE [well basically any fucking useless bullshit that is vote-seeking parading as “doing our bit”]. At MORE cost to the good old Aussie punter. There is only so much that we can take, and I fear for those coming after me, I seriously do.

  49. mh

    I had looked at heading to Ayers Rock for the climb this month, but the accomodation still available was shockingly expensive.

    I ended up going to Fiji’s Yasawa Islands.

  50. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    I had looked at heading to Ayers Rock for the climb this month, but the accomodation still available was shockingly expensive.

    It seems that there are those tourists who book accommodation in Alice Springs, and complain because they can’t see Ayers Rock from the motel window.

  51. I had looked at heading to Ayers Rock for the climb this month, but the accomodation still available was shockingly expensive.

    We visited the Rock in the early 80s (climbed it as well) and stayed in the caravan park in our tents at the resort, that was expensive back then.

    We’re glad to have been able to do the whole area back then, as you can’t do or go where we went in the 80s.

  52. mh

    Queensland’s Labor government are now taking the state to 90 Billion dollars of government debt, all the while telling the world that the Barrier Reef is dead.

  53. Old Lefty

    Don’t forget that arson attacks on churches are guaranteed immunity from investigation or prosecution in Yarragrad – there are at least 13 outstanding cases, and the only prosecution recent years has been of a serial firebug who also tried to torch a police station. And that Diane of the ABC endorses such attacks. – see his live-in with Rachel Griffiths after the torching of St James Brighton.

  54. Nob

    Good rant, Iamok.

    Working abroad as I do, you can set how Australia falls head over heels for every inane trend.

    While other countries don’t give a rat’s about the trend unless it will benefit them or they pay lip service.

  55. Suburban Boy

    The registered proprietor of Ayers Rock and surrounds is the Uluru-Katatjuta Aboriginal Land Trust, a corporation created under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (Cwlth). As duncanm has suggested, that Trust has granted a lease (for 90 years from 1994) to the Director of National Parks and Wildlife, a corporation created by the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1975 (Cwlth).

    It bears mentioning that the Rock is not owned by any sort of “traditional owners” but by a corporation formed under a Commonwealth statute. Corporations are an invention of Roman law that was adopted by English common law but of course is alien to any Aboriginal law.

  56. twostix

    Didn’t the chaser soysboys run into obscurity when it quietly outed one of them was a wife basher and the rest all knew and helped hide it?

  57. Robber Baron

    I’m waiting for the traditional owners of the Carlton and United brewery site to be made off limits to whitey. Surely that piece of land is sacred to the thousands of drunken abboriginals that have staggered and urinated around the streets of Melbourne.

    Land rights now!

  58. Leo G

    It bears mentioning that the Rock is not owned by any sort of “traditional owners” but by a corporation formed under a Commonwealth statute. Corporations are an invention of Roman law that was adopted by English common law but of course is alien to any Aboriginal law.

    The Uluru-Katatjuta Aboriginal Land Trust is the legal instrument constituting evidence of the traditional ownership right for putative traditional owners.
    Accordingly, traditional ownership in Australia is a legal concept created after European settlement, anachronistically creating the originating ownership.

  59. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    I’m waiting for the traditional owners of the Carlton and United brewery site to be made off limits to whitey

    I’m remembering a “land rights” claim, involving a well that was a sacred site, supposedly dug by the tribal elders.

    Turned out to have been dug by the Australian Army, during World War Two.

  60. iamok

    Thanks Nob. My Oz partner lived in London for over 20 years until a few ago and is astounded at how stupid the collective here is. Seeing it is like leaving the Matrix.

  61. Fat Tony

    Des Deskperson
    #3142794, posted on August 28, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    My memory from the last time I visited Uluru in 2014 was was the plastic drink bottles dropped by climbers rolling and tumbling down the rock face. I don’t recall any climber attempting to retrieve the dropped bottles and dispose of them properly.

    Des – i don’t think those climbers rolling and tumbling down the rock face should really be expected to hold on to their plastic drink bottles….I know i wouldn’t be able to. 🙂

  62. Nob

    Any “world leader in …” bragging rights that Australia or NZ are in the frame for are a sure sign of a poisoned chalice that nobody sane would touch with a bargepole.

  63. Pyrmonter

    The ownership of [Commonwealth Bank, Qantas, … the list could go on] has changed from the Commonwealth government (presumably on behalf of the citizens of Australia – but that is basically just propaganda [indeed]) to a subset of those citizens. Now in many respects this is no different from any other form of privatisation [indeed].

    Which prompts the question: why is indigenous ownership of Ayers Rock any different to ownership of 23 Railway Terrace, Blackacre?

  64. Leo G

    … why is indigenous ownership of Ayers Rock any different to ownership of 23 Railway Terrace, Blackacre?

    Accessibility?

  65. Rex Mango

    This Ayers Rock climbing ban is strange as it only hurts tourism and like all concessions to hurt feelings will not end with just a climbing ban. Soon other parts of the country will be fenced off out of respect for neo-paganism. Was thinking diving on the Barrier Reef should cease.

  66. notafan

    Did Aborigines build Ayres Rock as a place of worship?

    Who knew!

    It seems to me any bit of land that Aboriginal people had the vaguest awareness of is now a ‘sacred site’.

    Vastly overused as a term and a concept.

  67. Zatara

    As Aussies continue to argue whether it’s okay to climb Uluru, a rock formation that’s incredibly sacred to Aboriginal Australians, The Chaser has tried to show what a Western equivalent would look like.

    That’s odd.

    Why travel all the way to Canberra to climb a Russian Orthodox cathedral when they could have just hopped a bus over and climbed the Lakemba Mosque? It’s in the West isn’t it?

  68. MikeO

    I read an article I think it was the Pickering post which possibly is completely true. The claim was an article written in an Alice Springs newspaper said the reason was cost. The young and the fit don’t want to climb their busy doing other things so it is the older part of the population. There have been a number of deaths mainly heart attack I think. So to protect themselves there are insurances and staff which has costs that exceeds the return. It is very hard to get at the truth and I have noticed quite often such things tend to be manipulation by other interests. Look at the history of Hindmarsh Island if you want an example. How about someone bores a Hole in at the base of the rock to the centre. Once there for upwards to the top and install a lift. Problem solved no one has to climb the rock minimal sacred disturbance!

  69. Herodotus

    Excellent idea Mike.

  70. jupes

    It bears mentioning that the Rock is not owned by any sort of “traditional owners” but by a corporation formed under a Commonwealth statute. Corporations are an invention of Roman law that was adopted by English common law but of course is alien to any Aboriginal law.

    This.

  71. DaveR

    Unless I am mistaken, Uluru (Ayers Rock) is in a National Park, the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. A National Park is crown land, meaning owned by the Federal government on behalf of all Australians. You pay an entry fee to enter the National Park.

    Some aboriginal groups who live at Mutijulu inside the National Park have been identified as the traditional owners of an area of land which is larger than just the National Park. They have been granted custodianship of Uluru, and work hand-in-hand with Parks and Wildlife NT service in jointly managing the park.

    The next battleground in this area is going to be State governments handing over control of National parks, State parks, reference areas etc to aboriginal groups. Already the socialist Victorian government has suggested that all central Victoria parks could be handed over to Native Title claimants as part of a proposed Victorian” Treaty”. This would be a transfer of rights from the public to aboriginal groups.

  72. Dr Fred Lenin

    I have proven ancestry back to Orkney Islands ,DNA says we have no Norse blood ,the family is named after a place on Mainlad ,the largest island . There are standing stones older than Stonehenge there and dwellings carbon dated 3,200BC , traces of human habitation there go back to 8000BC !
    The question is am I indigenius and should I have land rights ?
    I loved this information a nob I know claims his family got back to William the Conquerer my reply ,”new migrants then are you ? “
    Now we built dwellings and brochs (a kind of three s-torey castle ) 3200BC and farmed the land ,where are the archaelogical sites of the aboriginal s?

  73. Rebel with cause

    The upshot of a ban on climbing will be a serious decline in tourism visitation to Ayres Rock. By their own admission at least 20% of visitors climb and this is despite the climb being frequently closed for dubious safety reasons. Knock 20% off visitor number and the accommodation and guided tours etc start looking a lot less viable.

  74. Phill

    The first time I climbed it, in about 1970, I was surprised to find rabbits at the top. Not many. The small patches of soil and grass at the top would only support a few. There were a few very small ponds of green water, that would be enough to keep them alive. However, if they chose to leave, they would have to navigate exactly back to what is now known as the “climb”. Any other path would have resulted in them falling to a rabbity death.
    I remember discussing it with one of my teachers (who was a noted local scholar of aboriginal matters) and he thought the rock was very sacred to the aboriginals, but primarily because it had permanent water. Sure, it is big, impressive, and had some nifty caves to paint in, but the key attraction was water. The next nearest spot was at the Olgas, a good walk away through spinifex and red dunes. He had no particular opinion about the rabbits.

  75. Rex Mango

    Excellent point Phill, however rabbits could have attempted to descend using the Pauline Hanson technique.

  76. Rockdoctor

    iamok

    #3142861, posted on August 28, 2019 at 7:36 pm

    +1000.

    Spent some of the Howard years in Asia. The world news when we managed a mention seemed fairly objective. We seemed a confident nation then that did punch above its weight where it mattered that didn’t buy into this bs. Something has happened since and I think it is our leaders have become so much more Eurocentric then in the past. I still go Asia for pleasure annually, all I see now is a cultural cringe to the old world along with punching above our weight in virtue signalling.

  77. Catfeesh?

    It seems to me any bit of land that white people have the vaguest interest in is now a ‘sacred site’.

    FIFY, notafan.

  78. Ainsley Hayes

    I’m not precisely sure where St Johns CATHEDRAL is but my grandparents are buried in a lovely Anglican church called St Johns in Reid, Canberra.

    Cathedrals, like priests, are largely a Catholic or American Episcopalian thing, not Anglican. Big important churches like Canterbury, they may be cathedrals since presumably they are also high church Anglican where the clergy get into the same incense, bells and gilt trappings the micks do.

    I’m not religious myself so unfortunately I can’t tell the ignorant kiddults from The Chaser to go to hell. However, I dont care – they can go fuck themselves, I’m riding to Ayers Rick/Uluru at the end of September to climb their church.

  79. Bruce in WA

    Build a cable car to the top. Bingo. No more falls; no more heart attacks. Grant a concession for a bar and restaurant/cafe complex on the summit. Result? More tourists, more dosh in the coffers, win-win.

    You know it’s the right thing to do.

  80. Paridell

    Julian Morrow should go to Newcastle’s Christ Church Cathedral. If he dares to climb the narrow spiral stairway into the void, he will come out on the roof of one of the highest buildings in the city. Like Ayers Rock, it is made to be walked about on.

  81. ArthurB

    Zulu (#314 2923, 9.38 pm): I heard a similar story from a friend, a historian who was amused by a claim in a native title case. The local Aborigines swore solemnly that a swamp was created by the Wagyl, and was therefore a sacred site. According to my friend, the swamp was created by the Main Roads department, as a quarry when a new road was being constructed some decades ago.

  82. Ainsley Hayes #3143411, posted on August 29, 2019 at 1:36 pm
    Cathedrals, like priests, are largely a Catholic or American Episcopalian thing, not Anglican.

    Not saying you’re wrong. I’d always believed a Cathedral is the “home” church, the Seat, of a Bishop. A Cathedra being the throne-sorta-thing a Bishop sits on.
    Thus a Cathedral has no requirement to be large, grand, impressive, or anything other than the church building in which the Cathdra reposes – in theory it could be a wooden shack in the bush with upturned kerosene tins for pews.

    AFAIK historically Bishops have been Roman Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox, or Coptic. The title “Bishop” is beginning to be slung around a bit by various hand-clapping outfits who feels “Pastor” & the like don’t have sufficient gravitas.
    “Bishop” & “Cathedral” are words that conjure up an image of men who are ordained clergy as a career, whose denomination has a history of hundreds of years, and who oversee several parishes in addition to their own.
    Their cathedral musical accompaniment is usually provided by an organ, not guitars.

    Roman Catholic & Anglican are the only Bishop-toting denominations the Chaser would be game to harass.

  83. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Zulu (#314 2923, 9.38 pm): I heard a similar story from a friend, a historian who was amused by a claim in a native title case. The local Aborigines swore solemnly that a swamp was created by the Wagyl, and was therefore a sacred site. According to my friend, the swamp was created by the Main Roads department, as a quarry when a new road was being constructed some decades ago

    I’m retired these days, but, when I had the “Family Farm” we applied for a Government grant to fence off salt affected land, and replant the salt affected land to “native shrubbery. (Took me three days to do the fencing, and plant the trees, three weeks to do the paperwork) but we were asked if we had permission from the “traditional owners of the land”

    The “traditional owner” of the land lived two hundred kilometers away , and had never set foot on the place in her life…

  84. John A

    Leo G #3142759, posted on August 28, 2019, at 4:46 pm

    They lost and don’t “own” anything.

    It is rather confusing.
    A traditional owner of a location appears to be a descendant of a former occupant (before Europeans settled in any defined territory which includes that place) of that place.
    The “traditional” element signifies that the former occupant, if not of European descent, automatically hands down their occupancy rights to all their descendants.
    The descendant appears ascendant, unless tainted by European descent.

    And after that, it’s all downhill from there…

  85. Zatara

    I’m not precisely sure where St Johns CATHEDRAL is

    According to this, it is at 1 Matina St, Narrabundah.

    Welcome to the website of the St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Canberra. The cathedral parish is part of the Australian Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church (Abroad).

  86. Mundi

    It’s a complete myth/lie that the land has been handed back.

    The “owner” is a land trust. But unlike a normal trust, this type of trust is regulated to the extreme. Basically it’s a political trust.

    For example try and find out who runs the trust or has rights to appoint for control of the trust. You will go down a big rabbit hole in to the NT bureaucracy.

    Basically the governed hold the land in trust to any group of aboriginals who come forward with a use case that meets the traditional use of the land.

    The idea that it has been handed over to private aboriginals is completely 100% wrong.

  87. Dan

    This is not correct, the legal relationships are not based on “traditional ownership” any more. The Crown has formally granted ownership – freehold title – to the local Aboriginal community as represented by the land trust. They do own it. They lease it out. Contrary to a comment above, the plan was actually for it to be leased out for tourism by the Aborigines on the condition climbing was banned, although this was removed as a condition before the land grant.

  88. Dan

    Mundi that’s correct (the management plan is , but if the Crown grants me part of a Crown-held park as a freehold interest, and I vest ownership in a trust with a bunch of trustees and some Byzantine trust deeds and side agreements, it’s still not some exotic form of “traditional” ownership.

  89. John

    Climb a mosque Julian. If you’ve got the guts.

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