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Sydney Opera House horse race advert ignites furore
10 October 2018, 10:56 | Henrietta Morgan
National Trust NSW conservation director Graham
Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Sunday denied she caved into bullying from broadcaster Alan Jones when she intervened to allow the horse racing advertising to be projected onto the sails.
"Images of that event were broadcast to 60 million people around the world, 60 million people in different countries, so we know it's a drawcard for New South Wales", she said.
While some have defended the promotion as having economic benefits, others say it is crass commercialism and threatens the iconic building's value as a World Heritage site.
Prime minister Scott Morrison has backed the government's decision calling the landmark the "biggest billboard Sydney has".
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A petition opposing the plan to project Tuesday night's barrier draw for the Everest race onto the venue's sails has garnered more than 206,000 signatures and protesters plan to disrupt the event.
Meanwhile, Racing NSW CEO Peter V'Landys claimed that the idea to advertise the race on the Opera House sails actually came from the NSW Government, and that he'd spent 12 months negotiating with "at least four government departments" in an effort to use the bridge.
"Call me naive, but I certainly didn't expect there would be such a reaction to us using the Opera House sales for 10 minutes to promote The Everest event internationally".
That horse-racing is characterised by the torture and killing of horses, and gambling, is irrelevant - surely no one would argue that some dead horses, or the lives of the tiny minority of gamblers unable to exercise restraint, are more important than the livelihoods of the tens of thousands of people and a $7 billion industry!
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"It's not like they're painting it (the promotion) on there", the Liberal leader said on Monday.
The heritage expert added the Racing NSW promotion had been referred to the World Heritage body UNESCO.
On Friday's 2GB Breakfast show Jones repeatedly yelled "we" own the Opera House over the top of his interview subject.
Graham Quint, a National Trust of Australia manager, said the advertising contravened federal and state laws governing use of the Opera House. It. has politicians in the palm of its hand, " Costello, a spokesman for the Alliance for Gambling Reform, told the ABC. The Change.org petition Defend Our Opera House: Support Lousie Herron is growing at an extraordinary pace. But the state government blocked that plan and offered the Opera House instead.
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