Published: Wed, October 10, 2018
Entertaiment | By Kelly Sanders

Sydney Opera House forced to display horse-racing ads on roof

Sydney Opera House forced to display horse-racing ads on roof

Racing NSW stewards have suspended betting on The Everest after conducting the barrier draw in private on Tuesday morning.

At 7.30pm yesterday, more than 1000 protesters switched on their phones and shone lights onto the Sydney Opera House in an attempt to wipe out the giant horse-racing advertisement being projected onto the building's iconic sails.

Conservative radio host Alan Jones sided with the government, shouting at Opera House chief executive Louise Herron on air before offering a grudging apology for doing so. Jones' response to Herron arguing the Opera House is "not a billboard" was: "Who said?"

EARLIER @ October 9: A plan to broadcast a live barrier draw for this weekend's multi-million dollar Everest race onto the sails of the Sydney Opera House has been cancelled.

Jones and Premier Gladys Berejiklian have faced an increasingly vocal backlash after she intervened within hours of the interview to allow the horse race to be promoted on the Opera House.

"Alan Jones and his gambling mates at Racing NSW want to turn the Opera House into their own promotional billboard".

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"The Opera House guidelines have from time to time been amended, whether it's for other sporting events or other causes".

"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".

Since last Friday, more than 250,000 people have signed an online petition calling for Herron's decision to be upheld.

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.

In another letter sent to Greens MP David Shoebridge, Mr Davies said he was unable to issue a Stop Work Order because the planned projections by Racing NSW did not meet the legal definition of "harm" as there was no physical damage being done to the site. The guidelines have always been stretched in the part and the commercialisation of the Opera House has always been there.

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