NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has defended her decision to allow an advertisement for a racing event be projected on the Sydney Opera House on Tuesday night, saying the image “will be in good taste”.
Speaking on Monday morning on the decision that has sparked mass debate across the country, Ms Berejiklian said “all sides of politics” supported the decision.
She said the people should “wait and see” what images were used before they rushed to judgement.
“It is done in good taste,” the Premier said.
“It’s incredibly toned down from previous versions.
“It’s important for us to promote our major events (and) I believe the tomorrow evening strikes that right balance.”
The Premier’s comments came as an online petition opposing the decision clicked over 150,000 signatures just after midday on Monday.
The petition, led by Sydney resident Mike Woodcock, calls on the NSW Government and Racing NSW to stop turning the Opera House into a “promotional billboard”.
A mock-up of the projected barrier draw that will appear on the Sydney Opera House tomorrow (Supplied: Racing NSW)
The promotion has sparked a wave of debate online and across the country, with some commentators questioning the appropriateness of racing, and its connection to gambling, being promoted on one of the country’s best known landmarks.
Racing NSW today released a mock image of the “final approved design” of the image projection that will be displayed on the iconic sails on Tuesday night.
The ABC understands it is also planning extra security at tomorrow night’s event, with threats of protests reaching its offices.
Ms Berejiklian said the final approved design had been toned down from previous versions which had been published in the media.
“A number of versions have gone through the process,” she said.
“And I’m very comfortable that what will be displayed tomorrow night (will be) keeping with what the residents of NSW expect.”
The NSW Premier’s decision was again defended by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who told 2GB radio this morning it was “some lights flashing up there for a brief moment of time”.
“It’s not as if their painting it on there,” he said.
“That (image) goes all around the world and they do it for other things, the Wallabies, indeed and others.
“So look, I just don’t understand why we tie ourselves up in knots about these things.”