- “This is one of the biggest events of the year why not put it on the biggest billboard Sydney has.”
The Prime Minister has defended a decision to project details of the world’s richest turf horse race on the Sydney Opera House amid a growing backlash.
PM Scott Morrison said he “does not understand” the fuss over Friday’s announcement.
He said on Alan Jones’ 2GB show radio this morning: “It’s not like they are painting it on there, it’s lights flashing up there for a brief moment in time, and that goes all around the world”.
The plan to project a horse racing advertisement on the famed sails of the Sydney Opera House is dividing Australians.
The New South Wales state government stepped in to allow the advertisement to be displayed Tuesday after the Opera House CEO Louise Herron opposed it.
State Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Monday the advertising for The Everest horse race had been “toned down” since its original proposal.
More than 130,000 people signed an online petition by early Monday to stop the promotion for the Sydney horse race, to be run next Sunday.
Some have argued the ad display has economic benefits, while others say it is crass commercialism and threatens the iconic building’s value as a World Heritage site.
PM Scott Morrison said, “They do it for other things, the Wallabies indeed and others.
“I just do not understand why we tie ourselves up in knots about these things.
This is 1 of the biggest events of the year why not put it on the biggest billboard Sydney has.”
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian Friday pulled rank on Opera House management to allow Racing NSW to use the venue to promote the race after a vigorous campaign by radio broadcaster Jones.
Ms. Berejiklian denied she had caved in to the 2GB host who’s been named 1 of the country’s most influential broadcasters.
Friday, Mr. Jones attacked Opera House CEO 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.
“This is 1 of the biggest events of the year why not put it on the biggest billboard Sydney has.”
Racing NSW CEO Peter V’landys said he had been negotiating with the state government for more than a year and initially wanted to use the Sydney Harbour Bridge to promote the Everest race.
“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 Monday.
“We are promoting a unique Sydney event, The Everest, not gambling.”
Have a terrific week
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