Pauline Hanson has backflipped on the issue of the Uluru climbing ban after attempting to climb the rock and making it only 40m before piking out.
Hanson was all mouth about the climbing ban on Uluru, or as it’s known by its proper Australian name, Ayers Rock. The One Nation leader correctly argued that such a ban would divert the burgeoning tourist dollar from the region and they’d all be back to killing goannas and sleeping on the tarmac. She said, “The fact is, it’s money-making. It’s giving jobs to indigenous communities, and you’ve got thousands of tourists who go there every year and want to climb the rock.”
She also mentioned how a public loan had helped fund the tourist spot and blackfella still owe us coin.
Mainly, Hanson was riding what she believed would be a national issue, or in other words, enacting a publicity stunt. She hoped it would bring her back into favour with those disaffected voters who elected her to the senate, and for whom she’s done nothing.
Thus, Hanson, all fired up and having flown in on a “non-taxpayer funded” flight to the Northern Territory, negotiated with the sons of Paddy Uluru, who granted her permission to climb.
Unlike the new Abo claimants to the rock, Paddy Uluru was a fair dinkum blackfella. He admitted there were no sacred rights associated with the rock and in 1973 said, “If tourists are stupid enough to climb the rock, they’re welcome to it.”
All Pauline had to do was climb the rock, as many an old duck has done in her time, and figuratively speaking, stand her ground. But after 40m the former fish-and-chip shop owner gave up the ghost and caved.
Just as she surrendered on the issue of Asian immigration, so she U-turned on Uluru or Ayers Rock.
She told the ABC, once she’d come down, that the rock was “scary” and she understood why the parkland owners decided to close it for safety reasons.
“I respect the decision that there is not enough safety with regards to the rock,” she said. “I respect the decision that their people, their kids, are not getting jobs. They’re bringing in Aboriginals from outside to fill the positions that should belong to their own people.”
Who is bringing in Aboriginals from outside? The owners? She never actually said, but it’s very likely that she agreed to about-face on the issue after receiving one of those gift shop things where you shake up a little model of the rock and it starts snowing.
Nationalists wrote-off the Ranga yonks ago, but whenever the conservatives need her, she is revived and more than a few Aussies are fooled again.
From October Ayers Rock will be off-limits to climbers and, really, we couldn’t care less; it’s too much effort to climb and there are no dunnies or a pub at the top. No, climbing the bastard is not the point: the issue is about empowering the Abos to shut off national parks piecemeal to Australians under the fraudulent guise of it being a ‘sacred site’.
We need to return to a time when it was the other way around and we were shutting off sacred lands to the blackfella. Somehow things just worked better that way.