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Sun Oct 7, 2018, 08:09 PM

The Opera House debacle

"NSW Premier)Gladys Berejiklian’s intervention forcing the Sydney Opera House to promote horse racing illustrates more than the extraordinary power wielded by shock jocks like Alan Jones. It also exemplifies the degradation of “the public” as a concept in Australian life.

"In her initial opposition to Racing NSW’s promotional schemes, the Opera House chief executive, Louise Herron, referred to the site’s world heritage status, a classification explicitly predicated on a humanistic universalism.

“World heritage sites belong,” says Unesco on its homepage, “to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located.”


Gladys's crawling to Alan Jones (think Rush Limbaugh), and the Murdoch media, has outraged many. Not just the left, not just art-lovers, but anybody who values the fact that we do have an architectural icon in our midst that we can be very proud of. But it also reminds us of the ever-increasing fawning of politicians to corporate interests. "The people" simply don't matter.

Imagine putting ads on the Empire State Building. Or the Tower of London. Or the Brandenburg Gate. This is how we feel about our Opera House.

A petition is circulating on change.org - it was started less than 24 hours ago, and is already approaching 150,000 signatures; a helluva lot in Australia. And if anyone overseas would like to add their name, I'm sure we'd all be thrilled to have you on board in the fight.


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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Opera House debacle (Original post)
Matilda Oct 2018 OP
Kali Oct 2018 #1
Matilda Oct 2018 #2
Golden Raisin Oct 2018 #3
Matilda Oct 2018 #4
Matilda Oct 2018 #5
Matilda Oct 2018 #6

Response to Matilda (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2018, 08:41 PM

1. done

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Response to Kali (Reply #1)

Sun Oct 7, 2018, 08:45 PM

2. Thank you so much!

Have to fight these nutjobs with everything we have.

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Response to Matilda (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2018, 09:15 PM

3. Joan Sutherland turning in her grave.

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Response to Golden Raisin (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 7, 2018, 10:10 PM

4. Jorn Utzon also, I would think.

His son has joined the growing chorus of disapproval, and the petition is now over 156,000.

And I think of Paul Robeson, who sang to the workers on the building site all those years ago. It's a well-known part of the Opera House history.

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Response to Matilda (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2018, 10:21 PM

5. Everest race betting suspended as Alan Jones apologises to Opera House boss

As the numbers on the petition against putting race details on the Opera House sails climbs towards 300,00, RW broadcaster Alan Jones has publicly apologised for his treatment of Opera House Manager Louise Herron.

"... on his show on Tuesday morning he said: “I used some words in these programs about the Everest, and the Opera House, and Louise, which in hindsight I now most regret.”

“I don’t believe my words or actions qualify as those of a bully or a misogynist but there are clearly many people who do,” Jones said on 2GB. My intention was to deal with the issue about which I feel very passionately and not to bully or demean Louise Herron.

“So to Louise and those people who’ve been offended, I apologise,” he said.

Racing NSW has cancelled a live barrier draw for The Everest horse race, citing security risks amid ongoing public outrage at plans to project the results onto the Sydney Opera House.


So good to know that people power can be effective, but it isn't enough. The advertising should be withdrawn, and nobody should try to bully the General Manager into compliance with corporate interests ever again.

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Response to Matilda (Original post)

Tue Oct 9, 2018, 09:05 PM

6. Protesters shine torches on Opera House sails

About 2,000 people protested last night at the Opera House, as barrier numbers for the Everest horse race were beamed on to the sails of the Opera House. The light wasn't enough to block the numbers of course, but the presence of so many people turned the event into a travesty, as protesters chanted "Not for sale" and "Whose House? Our House".

"A sizeable police presence patrolled on land and water, while riot officers cordoned off some areas closer to the water.

"The protest was mostly good-spirited, though. When the sails finally lit up at about 7.40pm the crowd erupted in a chorus of boos, chanting “not a fucking billboard”, “boring” and “the graphics are shit”.

"The projection lasted about half-an-hour and ended to a raucous round of cheers and more chants of “we love you Louise” – a reference to Opera House chief Louise Herron, who opposed the display."


The petition against the commercial use of the sails closed with over 311,000 signatures, quite extraordinary for this country.

This week's events have drawn attention to the fact that we are sick of politicians ruling for corporate interests. It's brought to the fore a strong feeling that it's time our pollies started listening to the people, and governing in our interests.

And I hope the rage spreads to other countries where the same political mindset prevails.

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