• "The issue of climbing is not an issue of safety, but an issue of ceremony": Francis Kelly. (NITV)Source: NITV
Chief Minister Adam Giles is 'completely wrong' over Uluru, says the Central Land Council's new chairperson.
By
Danny Teece-Johnson

Source:
NITV News
22 Apr 2016 - 4:04 PM  UPDATED 25 Apr 2016 - 10:39 AM

Newly elected Chairperson of the Central Land Council, Francis Kelly, has called for Adam Giles "to stop talking about Uluru", as he doesn’t have the cultural authority to do so, telling NITV that “he could get sick if he keeps talking.”

Mr Kelly was referring to an Aboriginal belief that if someone talks about something they shouldn’t be, then they will get ill or have bad luck.

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Chairperson Kelly has responded to comments made by Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles stating that traditional owners should allow tourists time to climb the scared site.

Mr Kelly says the Chief Minister is "completely wrong, offensive", and has shown his lack of understanding for Aboriginal lore’s, traditions, song lines and ceremonies.

Traditional Owners of Uluru, the Anangu people, have been campaigning for decades to stop tourists from climbing Uluru as it's a sacred site used for Aboriginal ceremonies.

"The issue of climbing is not an issue of safety, but an issue of ceremony, and they want it protected,” Mr Kelly said.

Aboriginal ceremonies have taken place at Uluru since the dawn of time and Traditional Owners want that connection to remain unbroken.

Long serving Territory politician Warren Snowdon, expressed outrage at Adam Giles comments and met with the Central Land Council to discuss the matter. In a scathing media release the Labor MP called for Adam Giles to "button his lip and show some respect."

Mr Snowdon's statement went on to say: “Of particular concern at today’s meeting was the constantly ignorant attitude of Chief Minister Adam Giles, who this week publicaly supported encouraging more tourists to climb Uluru, despite the wishes of traditional owners. The Anangu people have long discouraged the practice of climbing the rock, because of the great cultural and spiritual importance of Uluru. Adam Giles has proven completely disrespectful of their wishes.”

“I call on Adam Giles to show some respect and consult with traditional owners, before he goes into parliament and makes outlandish comparisons with Uluru and the Eiffel Tower."