Sydney Opera House horse race advert ignites furore

Annette Crawford
October 10, 2018

"This is one of the biggest events of the year", Morrison said Sunday.

But there is a significant, evident difference between hosting promotion for betting on a horse race and supporting national teams. In two days it garnered 55,000 signatures, and by this morning that figure had more than doubled, with thousands throwing their support behind Herron who argued the projections would put the building's heritage status in jeopardy.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has rejected Prime Minister Scott Morrison's description of the Sydney Opera House as a "billboard", saying a line should be drawn at describing "national heritage" as a canvas for advertising.

'These events generate massive economic opportunities.

"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.

"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.

Jones on Friday attacked Opera House chief executive Louise Herron, who had ruled out allowing words or branding to be projected onto the venue because "it's not a billboard", and called for her to be sacked.


'I just don't understand why we tie ourselves up in knots about these things'. It ... has politicians in the palm of its hand, ' the anti-gambling campaigner told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

'The World Heritage listing requires not only that the building be preserved in its fabric, but also that it be presented properly ... and no way under the current conservation management plan should this be allowed, ' Mr Quint said.

He insisted that the use of the sails was to promote "a unique Sydney event", and not gambling.

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. "All that is left is the trophy, the colour of the jockey silks and the barrier the horse has drawn", Mr V'landys told the Sydney Morning Herald. But the state government blocked that plan and offered the Opera House instead.

Shortly before the decision was made, Herron had expressed her concern about the precedent that would stem from allowing the Opera House to be used as a billboard. The Everest is the world's richest turf race and injected $100 million into the NSW economy a year ago.

You can check out the petition on Change.org here.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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