Opera House promotion 'probably not legal': National Trust

National Trust NSW conservation director Graham Quint

National Trust NSW conservation director Graham Quint

Following the NSW government's controversial choice to allow the upcoming Everest horse race to be promoted on the sails of the Sydney Opera House, an online petition supporting its CEO Louise Herron - who rejected the ads - has gained almost 150,000 signatures in a couple of days (at time of publication). One petition has attracted approximately 180,000 signatures at the time of writing.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has also defended the decision, stating that the original promotion has now been toned down to fit people's tastes.

National Trust NSW conservation director Graham Quint.

"It may be in breach of the Heritage Act". Mr Morrison said on Sunday.

The agreement will allow Racing NSW to promote the Everest race with colours and branding, but not with horse names.

"I'm absolutely confident the Sydney Opera House will continue to be the icon that it is globally and for us locally", she said. Federal Labor MP Anthony Albanese told ABC Radio listeners last week that people should just "chill out" over the issue, while Tanya Plibersek tweeted on Monday morning that it was "just tacky".

"It's a classic Sydney political story that has ignorance teaming up with special interests to once again sell out the public".

The premier on Monday stood by her decision saying she was "incredibly comfortable".

"Promoting The Everest this way is consistent with other events we've promoted on the Opera House such as the Mardi Gras, the Wallabies, The Ashes, and Chinese New Year".

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison, a former tourism marketer, described the Opera House as the "biggest billboard Sydney has".

"It's not like they're painting it on there".

Jones said during the terse exchange: "We own the Opera House".

"It's part of our national treasure and deserves the respect that comes with that", he said in Melbourne.

Sydney Opera House management refused parts of the request because it would contravene its policy on illumination, which is created to protect its World Heritage status.

According to Chief Excecutive Peter V'landys, the state blocked the move and offered the Sydney Opera House as an alternative.

"If you want to protest peacefully by all means (do so)". Almost 3,000 people plan to attend a "light-based" protest to interrupt the projection on Tuesday. "They've even called for the sacking of the Opera House manager who told them where to get off".

'Let's be clear, Racing NSW never intended for the sails of the Opera House to be used as a billboard, ' Mr V'landys wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.

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