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Protesters shine torches on Sydney Opera House to disrupt advert

10 October 2018

The decision to conduct the draw in private on Tuesday morning, hours earlier than expected, was made by the thoroughbred racing industry body to "circumvent any security risks".

Thousands of protesters gathered outside the Sydney Opera House to protest The Everest horse race advertisement on Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, opponents of the ad launched a massive petition, projected Alan Jones' personal phone number onto the Opera House in protest, and turned up last night to block out the Racing NSW ad by shining torches on it.

It comes at a time when there has already been significant backlash after radio host Alan Jones stepped in to implore NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian to allow The Everest to beam images on the Opera House's iconic sails.

Jones had called for Louise Herron to be sacked during a testy confrontation on Friday after she ruled out allowing words or branding highlighting The Everest to be projected onto the Opera House because "it's not a billboard".

"The results of the barrier draw have been held in confidence by Racing NSW Stewards to ensure they are not publicly known until this evening".

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They also beamed the message on the NSW Art Gallery and NSW Parliament House just for good measure.

Herron was appointed CEO of the Sydney Opera House in 2012, having previously been a lawyer and corporate adviser, and was chair of Sydney's Belvoir Street Theatre for 10 years.

Protesters yelled "Shame" and used lights to attempt to obscure the projected images. "This is much bigger than one Prime Minister, or one party, or even one government", he said.

More than 300,000 people have signed a petition protesting the promotion, while the NSW National Trust has questioned whether the move was legal. He cut her off immediately as she attempted to explain the heritage listing of the Opera House and then said he would be calling the Premier.

The NSW Heritage Council, an adviser to the government on heritage issues, said it was disappointed with the government's decision to turn the "international architectural masterpiece" into a billboard.

Mr Quint said the government still hadn't explained how projecting advertising onto the sails adhered to the exemptions.

Protesters shine torches on Sydney Opera House to disrupt advert