Australia: Sydney Opera House Site Of Battle Over Horse Racing Promotion

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Racing NSW originally wanted to conduct the barrier draw live, with the results projected in real time onto the sails of the building.

More than a thousand protesters armed with smartphones and torches gathered at the Opera House on Tuesday night in response to the government's decision to project the barrier draw for The Everest onto the icon's shells.

Broadcaster Alan Jones was accused of bullying in an on-air interview with Opera House chief executive Louise Herron, an accusation he initially refuted before publicly apologising.

Protester Joshua Richardson, 19, said he had no problem with the Opera House being lit up in the "right context" but said this illumination was "horrible".

"I used some words in these programs about the Everest, and the Opera House, and Louise, which in hindsight I now most regret hearing, having heard the impact they've clearly had on some people", said Jones.

The barrier draw will be released via a short light show on the sails of the Opera House which has cause considerable controversy since Friday.

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The NSW government held high-level meetings on Monday to discuss potential security threats, which include staff tampering with the projection.

Racing NSW says bets have been suspended "to avoid any perceived integrity risk", with waging operators to be informed later this evening when they can recommence betting on the annual racing event.

Berejiklian said she was "incredibly comfortable" with her decision to intervene and allow horse racing adverting on the Opera House.

"This is one of the biggest events of the year... why not put it on the biggest billboard Sydney has?" said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Satirical group The Chaser posted a video of the prank on Tuesday morning where they can also be seen shining the message, which was accompanied by Alan Jones' purported mobile number, onto NSW Parliament House and the NSW Art Gallery.

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