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Senate Condemns NSW Government for Treating the Opera House as a Billboard

Media Release
Mehreen Faruqi 16 Oct 2018

The Australian Senate has today condemned the NSW Government for treating the Opera House as a Billboard. The motion, put forward by Australian Greens Senator for New South Wales Mehreen Faruqi, also called on the Federal Environment Minister to take action to protect our cultural icons. Senator Faruqi said:

"Like many Australians, I was horrified by the NSW Government treating our World Heritage listed Opera House like a cheap billboard to promote racing and gambling, in contravention of state heritage laws and the overwhelming views of the community. The Senate has voted to reflect the community consensus that the Opera House first and foremost is owned by the people, not weak-willed politicians.

"The fact that the NSW Government promoted racing and gambling during Responsible Gambling Awareness Week shows how hollow they are.

“There is a powerful nexus of gambling, big business, media and dirty politics in New South Wales. But this time they went too far and have awakened Sydney and the country to their grubby deals. The community reaction shows that we aren’t going to take it anymore.

“It’s time for the Environment Minister to get off the fence and do her job in protecting our culture and heritage,” she concluded.

The Motion

That the Senate:

  1. Notes that:
    1. The Sydney Opera House was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2007 in recognition of it being a masterpiece of 20th century architecture.
    2. The Federal Environment Minister has a responsibility to protect the Opera House under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
    3. The NSW Liberal Government allowed a promotion for a horse racing event to be displayed on the sails of the Opera House in contravention of state heritage laws, the Opera House Plan of Management and the overwhelming views of the community.
  2. Condemns the NSW Government for treating the Opera House as a billboard.
  3. Calls on the Federal Environment Minister to take action to protect our cultural icons.
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