Mt Warning is a hugely popular hiking destination but Indigenous activists want it shut down. Picture: Christa Merkes-Frei
Mt Warning is a hugely popular hiking destination but Indigenous activists want it shut down. Picture: Christa Merkes-Frei

Another popular site facing Uluru-style ban

Indigenous activists have called for a popular hiking spot to be closed to hikers, on the back of Uluru's climbing ban late last month.

Mt Warning in the Tweed ranges in northern NSW is considered a sacred site for the traditional owners, the Bundjalung people.

The mountain, which is also known as Wollumbin, is also hugely popular with tourists, especially hikers.

But there's a renewed push to have access to Mt Warning shut off.

Bundjalung Elder Robert Corowa said the recent closure of Uluru's climb gave him and his community a new sense of hope that their campaign will be successful.

"I am very motivated by what I've seen at Uluru … we've been trying to pull the chains down and stop people climbing it for years," Mr Corowa told The Courier-Mail.

He claims visitors to Mt Warning show disrespect and traditional owners are left upset by how the sacred spot is treated.

Mr Corowa said he has witnessed tourists defecate on the mountain.

"I'm ashamed to go there … it makes me really sad to watch people climbing it. I don't want to let people think they've got the right," he said.

But Mt Warning is a popular tourist attraction in the region, attracting up to 100,000 visitors annually.

Rainforest Park Manager Mark Bourchier said he was concerned the closure would impact tourism to the area.

"If we go shutting the mountain, I can see there would be way less visitors to the area," he told The Courier-Mail.

 

The Uluru climb closure has encouraged Indigenous activists to target Mt Warning for a ban on tourists.
The Uluru climb closure has encouraged Indigenous activists to target Mt Warning for a ban on tourists.

 

The Tweed Shire Councillor Warren Polglase said the discussion surrounding Mt Warning's closure had been mentioned in council for years.

He believes now that serious action could be taken, in light of the closure of Uluru.

On October 25, the climbing track on Uluru was officially closed - something traditional owners had been pushing for.

The Anangu people celebrated the closure at the base of the rock to signify to new visitors that it was no longer available - or lawful.

But it proved a contentious issue, gaining global headlines and heated political debate.

A new sign was erected at the base of the rock to inform visitors of the new policy. It read "This is our home," and "Please don't climb".


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