Australia

NSW MP wants to change Opera House laws

A NSW MP wants to change laws governing the Sydney Opera House after the state government allowed a horse race to be promoted on the iconic building.

An Independent NSW MP wants to change state laws governing the Sydney Opera House to remove the power of the government to override management decisions.

Member for Sydney Alex Greenwich on Tuesday said he would move a motion in parliament to amend the Sydney Opera House Trust Act to "stop the culture of a minister picking up the phone on behalf of his mates in the racing industry and telling the Opera House what to do".

More than a quarter of a million people have signed a petition calling on the NSW government to reverse its decision to allow The Everest horse race to be marketed on the building's iconic shells.

"Sydney is not Las Vegas, and our cultural icons should not be used to help the racing industry make a profit from problem gambling," Mr Greenwich told reporters in Sydney.

"I'm deeply concerned by the political pressure that is being applied to the Opera House."

Currently, the Opera House is managed by a trust and executive team but any decision it makes can be overruled by the government, according to Mr Greenwich.

"Despite the strong provisions around the trust role in managing and protecting the Opera House, the minister has the final say," he said.

"The current situation is broken, there needs to be a greater level of protection put in place and that's what I'll seek to do."

On Monday, the National Trust NSW suggested that projecting commercial material onto the sails of the Opera House contravened state laws.

Mr Greenwich says his motion already has the support of the Greens and he intends to speak with Labor to secure their backing.

"However, I do expect the government to use their numbers to even block the debate," he said.

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch