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Australian PM overrules ban on climbing Uluru
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15:57, July 10, 2009

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Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's decision to overrule a ban on climbing Uluru, a large rock in central Australia, received support from the federal opposition on Friday.

A draft management plan for the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park has called for a ban on climbing the 348-meter-high rock, which issacred to local aboriginal people.

Rudd, who is in Italy for the Major Economies Forum, said that while it was important to manage the country's natural landscape properly it would be a shame if climbing Uluru was banned.

"I think it would be very sad if we got to a stage though where Australians and frankly our guests from abroad weren't able to enjoy that experience ... to climb it," he said.

Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull welcomed the move by Rudd to overrule the ban.

"I'm pleased to see our efforts in that regard ... have been met with some action from the prime minister," Turnbull told reporters in Sydney.

Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is listed as a World Heritage Site with many springs, waterholes, rock caves and ancient paintings. The rock and Kata Tjuta are the two major features of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which receives about 350,000 visitors every year.

Source: Xinhua

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