A proposal to illuminate the sails of the Sydney Opera House with images of the Everest horse race has sparked furious condemnation.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Friday intervened to allow the advertising after Sydney shock jock Alan Jones publicly berated Opera House chief executive Louise Herron who'd ruled against Everest words or branding being projected onto the venue because "it's not a billboard".
Demonstrators are seen protesting against the decision to project the barrier draw results for Racing NSW's multi-million dollar race, The Everest, onto the sails of the Opera House, in Sydney, Australia, October 9, 2018.
NSW Minister for Racing Paul Toole defended his government's decision, saying there was "no way this is devaluing the Opera House".
Anti-gambling campaigner Tim Costello said the advertising demonstrated the power of the Australian horse racing industry that made a profit of A$3.3 billion Australian dollars ($3.6 billion) a year ago.
"This is one of the biggest events of the year", Morrison said Sunday.
'These events generate massive economic opportunities.
He continued: 'It's not as if they're painting it on there.
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Anti-gambling campaigners have slammed the move by the New South Wales Government, which runs contrary to the views of Opera House management. I mean, it's some lights flashing up there for a brief moment of time, " he added.
A fired up Jones cut her off mid-sentence, saying: "We own the Opera House, do you get that message?"
Graham Quint, a National Trust of Australia manager, said the advertising contravened federal and state laws governing use of the Opera House.
Later on the program, Jones went on a tirade against "lefties" taking issue with the promotion of horse racing on the Opera House sails, wildly claiming it was hypocritical given the event space was sold for concerts and events and "whatever will raise money for Louise".
'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.
Last week, the Sydney Opera House board rejected the advert for the Everest Cup - arguing it was an "inappropriate" commercialisation.
Jones spoke to Herron and Racing NSW CEO Peter V'landys earlier this week, putting pressure on the Opera House CEO to reverse the decision. But the state government blocked that plan and offered the Opera House instead. The Change.org petition Defend Our Opera House: Support Lousie Herron is growing at an extraordinary pace.