Tourists will be able to climb the World Heritage-listed Uluru for at least 18 months after the Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, backed away from a move to ban it.
Mr Garrett, who as a rock singer for the band Midnight Oil sang about land rights at the base of rock 20 years ago, supported the view of Aboriginal traditional owners who regard it as a sacred site and wanted climbing banned.
There were also concerns that some of the 100,000 tourists who climb the rock each year were defecating on it.
But under a new 10-year management plan announced by Mr Garrett yesterday, the 348-metre rock will remain open to climbers until its popularity dwindles or new visitor experiences are developed.
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