Petition To 'Save' Opera House Tops 230k
Nearly a quarter of a million people have signed a petition calling on the NSW government to reverse its decision to allow a horse race to be marketed on the shells of the Opera House.
Petition organiser and Sydney father Mike Woodcock hopes Premier Gladys Berejiklian will accept the petition he started on Friday, after the coalition overturned a decision by Opera House management to reject the plan.
Public outrage over the decision to promote the $13 million Racing NSW race, dubbed The Everest, mounted over the weekend and into this week with some calling it an "assault" on the World Heritage listed Australian icon.
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Mr Woodcock, whose petition on Tuesday morning topped 230,000 signatures, said it would be "awesome" if Ms Berejiklian reversed her decision made in the wake of a vigorous pro-race campaign by Alan Jones.
"On Friday we saw her accept a single phone call from one person that, you know, has a lot of sway in Sydney, apparently," he told Nine Network.
"It would be great if she also accepted the views of 232,000 other people that are on the other side of this."
His Change.org petition, which the website says is its "fastest growing petition" in recent memory, will be delivered to the NSW Parliament on Tuesday morning.
On Tuesday night, the barrier draw for The Everest is due to be projected on the shells of the Opera House from 8pm, alongside a planned protest on the foreshore.
Protest organiser Rachel Evans says there's "a lot of anger on the streets" about the promotion which she's described as an "assault on the Opera House".
Nearly 3000 people are expected to attend and plan to disrupt the Everest projection with torches and mobile phone lights.
Everest organiser Racing NSW claims its received death threats in the wake of furore.
NSW Police said on Monday they weren't aware of any reported threats.
Meanwhile, National Trust NSW conservation director Graham Quint says projecting commercial material onto the Opera House contravenes state laws.
The Racing NSW promotion had been referred to the World Heritage body UNESCO, he added.
The Opera House conservation management plan states "the Sydney Opera House exterior, particularly the shells ... should not be regarded as a giant billboard or commercial/advertising opportunity".
Ms Berejiklian on Friday intervened to allow the advertising after Jones publicly berated Opera House chief executive Louise Herron for standing against plan, saying she should lose her job.
The premier on Monday stood by her decision saying she was "incredibly comfortable" with it, despite widespread perceptions she'd caved in to Jones' demands.