Sydney radio host Alan Jones has apologised and expressed regret over last week’s aggressive argument with Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron over attempt to block The Everest horse race advertising on the iconic building’s sails.
That hasn’t really assuaged Australian satirical comedy group The Chaser, who beamed Alan Jones’ personal phone number on the side of the Opera House last night in a cheeky prank:
Support is now mounting for protests at 8pm tonight when the advertising will be beamed on to the side of the World Heritage-listed landmark.
This morning on his 2GB radio breakfast show, Jones said: “I used some words in these programs about The Everest, and the Opera House, and Louise, which in hindsight I now most regret.”
“So to Louise and those people who’ve been offended, I apologise.”
The decision by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to allow the advertising to go ahead has been seen as capitulation to the media by some, and many people took to social media to vent their frustration.
Over 240,000 people have signed an online petition to ban the advertising.
Although Berejiklian said yesterday that people should “wait and see” the ad before they rushed to judge, adding that it “will be in good taste”, according to Australian music news website MusicFeeds, there are plans by protesters to disrupt the advertising feature with a “light-based” protest. It will involve protesters bringing lights of their own to shine at and around the 6-minute advertising projection so it is not as easily seen.
However, drones and laser pointers have been banned.
The Chaser also posted a cryptic tweet which seemed to imply that they might be taking part in the protest.
Just confirming: yes, we are serious, and it needs to be really quite powerful, for no particular reason. https://t.co/oEQjlBtxNG
— The Chaser (@chaser) October 8, 2018
According to National Trust NSW conservation director Graham Quint, projecting commercial material onto the Opera House could actually be illegal. Speaking to The Australian, Quint said that “it may be in breach of the Heritage Act”.
He said the legislation made it clear that projecting colours and images onto the sails should be “confined to exceptional, non-commercial occasions of brief duration”.
Independent Member for Sydney Alex Greenwich said that he will move in the NSW Parliament to amend the Sydney Opera House Trust Act to remove the ability to override Trust decisions, although the government is likely to block this move.
“Sydney is not Las Vegas, and our cultural icons should not be used to help the racing industry make a profit from problem gambling,” he said.
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