SYDNEY MORNING HERALDThis is a proposed example of what Racing NSW would like to project onto the famous sails of the Sydney Opera House
10 October, 2018, 10:54
Plans to advertise a horse race on the iconic sails of the Sydney Opera House have prompted outcry among Australians, with critics saying the UNESCO World Heritage site should be protected from commercialization, BBC reports.
The craven decision by Liberal Premier Gladys Berejiklian to override the Opera House's chief executive, Louise Herron, who had upheld the guidelines, came after a Sydney radio presenter with an extensive track record of belligerence and long-standing personal interests in racing, Alan Jones, hectored and bullied Ms Herron in an encounter that outraged many thousands of people.
National Trust NSW conservation director Graham Quint says projecting commercial material onto the Opera House contravenes state laws.
"The Opera House was the alternate venue put forward by the NSW government, which wanted to support the promotion of the event internationally, as it had done for other sporting events", he wrote in an opinion piece published in The Sydney Morning Herald on Monday.
But Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said Saturday the projects were "blatant commercialization" while a change.org petition against the move has attracted more than 40,000 signatures in two days.
A spokesman for UNESCO told the Guardian that the World Heritage Center is "looking into this" advertisement, but declined to comment further.
While Tim Costello, a spokesman for the Alliance for Gambling Reform, said that the advert demonstrated the power of the Australian horse racing industry, which made a profit of 3.3 billion Australian dollars (£1.7 billion) past year.
"This is one of the biggest events of the year", Morrison said Sunday.
WOLTER PEETERSRacing NSW boss Peter V'landys the man behind The Everest to be held at Randwick racecourse this weekend
"It's not like they're painting it on there". I mean, it's some lights flashing up there for a brief moment of time, " he added.
Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten was quick to attack the PM stating: "The Opera House is not a billboard, it's a thing of great beauty".
NSW Minister for Racing Paul Toole defended his government's decision, saying there was "no way this is devaluing the Opera House".
"I don't think most Australians, when they think about the Opera House, think of it as a billboard", Mr Shorten said.
"We are promoting a unique Sydney event, The Everest, not gambling". But the state government blocked that plan and offered the Opera House instead.
"Let's remind Alan that the Opera House truly does belong to everyone, by supporting Louise Herron's staunch defence of one of our City and Country's few instantly recognisable heritage landmarks".
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