The world agreed it is "theirs" not ours.
The Aussie's pronounce it "joint-management".
Calling an area a UNESCO World Heritage Site implies a significance to all of humanity. Rather, requesting that a site be formally classified a World Heritage Site, thereby raising its' profile and yearly attendance significantly, puts an obligation on all of humanity to protect and preserve the site. If a Civil War breaks out tomorrow between the rival factions of Aborigines where one denomination claims Namogan, The Lord of Lightning, breaks the clouds with his stone axe to create rain, and the other denomination is willing to kill the children of such believers to purge the heresy (everyone knows Namogan's axe is made of dingo bone), we are charged with preventing them from using Urlulu as a hostage.
This effort began when...
The United States initiated the idea of cultural conservation with nature conservation. The White House conference in 1965 called for a "World Heritage Trust" to preserve "the world's superb natural and scenic areas and historic sites for the present and the future of the entire world citizenry". The International Union for Conservation of Nature developed similar proposals in 1968, and they were presented in 1972 to the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm.
This issue of 'native rights' (rights in addition to the the rights the rest of us have) is more important than a rock in the desert.
The Thirty Meter Telescope is nearly 4 years behind schedule. Maybe it will finally go online just in time to spot the next asteroid impact before it kills everyone and everything, maybe it wont. Of the many technical obstacles to overcome between then and now, worrying about the wrath of the Juju Mountain God or some Sleepy Lizard Woman can not be one of them.
All men are free the believe whatever they want. Pray, sing, chisel any particular brand of gibberish you want on the side of a sandstone outcrop, tattoo it all over your body, just don't expect me or anyone else to spend a single second of our lives giving a ----.
Or go drop a turd in the Vatican
Is that a typical thing to do in a church? Climbing a hill in the middle of plain seems a natural thing. This is something common to humans on every Continent in every age, I suggest it goes back to a time before we were even human. I'm 100% certain that if you climb Urlulu you will walk over the footprints of a human just-like-you who took the same path and stood in the same place 10,000 or 20,000 or 30,000 years ago. That kind of experience is important to me, at least as important as a 'natives' belief that I am somehow doing his culture a disrespect. So who 'wins'? Because if i cant climb 'his' rock then he should have to take a ------- row boat across Sydney Harbor.
not respecting people if that's your thing
I respect people. I even sometimes respect particularly interesting blocks of sedimentary rock. I don't necessarily respect myths, legends or stories meant to scare children and help their parents sleep at night.