Protests fail to stop Opera House promotion


Advertising for Australia’s richest horse race, The Everest, has divided a nation. Protestors did their best to disrupt what they saw as the promotion of gambling on the Sydney Opera House.

Leanne Nebe reports.

TRANSCRIPT

Shining torches and phone lights more than a thousand people showed their opposition to gambling advertising being displayed on the sails of the Sydney Opera House.

Chanting “never again”, they tried to drown out the projection of the Everest horse race barrier draw.

Almost a quarter of a million people signed an online petition against the promotion and race organisers.

Protestor: “I think the message has got across. That it’s our opera house. Don’t use it for advertising, and particularly not for things like gambling.”

Not everyone agreed.

Vox pop: “There’s been other sponsors on this, Samsung for commercial reasons, there’s been the Wallabies. What’s the difference?”

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian says she regrets how the debate became a messy public brawl.

But she doesn’t see a problem with future advertising on Sydney’s most iconic building.

If it’s done right.

Gladys Berejiklian, NSW Premier: “We should be able to use it in a tasteful way, for events that are so significant to our state.”

Race officials conducted the draw in secret before suspending betting and projecting results onto the sails of the Opera House just before 7:30pm local time.

The $13 million event is billed the “world’s richest race on turf”.

Leanne Nebe, QUT News,