Australia: Sydney Opera House Site Of Battle Over Horse Racing Promotion

Australia: Sydney Opera House Site Of Battle Over Horse Racing Promotion

A video was taken of the draw by Racing NSW stewards for audit purposes on Tuesday morning.

Alan Jones' mobile is probably running hot this morning after those naughty wags at The Chaser projected his phone number onto the sails of the Sydney Opera House alongside the caption, "Advertise here".

A crowd of several hundred people gathered in the Opera House forecourt chanting and using torches to stop the light display.

The decision, which was against Opera House CEO Louise Herron's wishes, reached fever pitch when radio presenter Alan Jones called for her to be sacked.

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The Sydney Opera House has a policy in which logos, corporate identities or colours are forbidden from being projected onto its sails, as to not undermine its heritage status.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, previously the director of Tourism Australia, defended State Premier Gladys Berejiklian's deal with Racing NSW, calling the Opera House "the biggest billboard Sydney has".

"I encourage the input and say people protest for governments to listen - and we do that - but I also say people on all sides of the argument should be respectful".

He later apologised, but the backlash had already hit, splashed across newspaper front pages and news bulletins for days, with about 290,000 people signing an online petition against the promotion.

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The petition was delivered to state parliament on Tuesday with independent member for Sydney Alex Greenwich vowing to move a motion to try to remove the power of government to overrule Opera House management.

A protest is being planned for when the projection takes place, at 8pm on Tuesday night.

The NSW Heritage Council said it was extremely disappointed with the government's decision which would turn the "international architectural masterpiece" into a billboard.

Protester Joshua Richardson, 19, said he had no problem with the Opera House being lit up in the "right context" but said this illumination was "horrible".

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Mr Quint said the legal exemptions allowing projection onto the sails made clear that they must be "non-commercial occasions of brief duration".

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