Tourists use Uluru as dunny

Ben Langford | ntnews.com.au | September 8th, 2009

Tourists are using the top of Uluru as a toilet, the head of a Central Australian tour company said yesterday.

Andrew Simpson, general manager of the Aboriginal-owned Anangu Waai tour company, said many tourists took a toilet roll with them when they climbed the rock.

The claims could be another blow to chances of the rock staying open to climbers.

Mr Simpson said if tourists needed to go they found somewhere before making the half-hour descent.

"That's been going on for years," he said.

When people climb up the top of the rock there's no toilet facilities up there.

"They get out of sight like most German tourists do ... like most tourists do.

"Most of them have a toilet roll tucked away.

"They're sh**ting on a sacred site."

Uluru is sacred for the Anangu people, to whom the land was handed backin 1985.

Traditional owners have complained rubbish and human waste has been making its way down from the top into a sacred pool.

Mr Simpson's claims are in a submission on the draft Uluru-Kata Tjuta national park management plan, which includes the proposal to ban climbing on the rock.

Anangu Waai would benefit from the climb's closure as the company offers tours around the area that do not involve climbing the rock.

Public submissions on the plan closed last Friday and park manager Lara Musgrave said more than 150 were received.

"It's eclipsed all of the Commonwealth-managed parks when they've had public comment periods on their draft plans," she told the ABC.

Questions were raised about whether the decision was a fait accompli after Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said he believed the climb should not be closed.

But Mr Garrett said he would deal with the recommendations when he saw them.

"I will give proper consideration to what the board brings forward," he said.

It is not likely Mr Garrett will announce his decision this year.