Art & Design

Jul 19, 2013

Hey Australia, do you really want Packer’s casino to define Sydney?

Journalist and author Jonathan Englert says Australia should think twice before making James Packer's new casino the face of Australia.

Barangaroo casino

You are what you build. This phrase was on my mind over the weekend when I found myself on the water looking at the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge and thought: aren't they smart. The gents building that Barangaroo casino, that is. Most images show the proposed casino only from one direction. The reason is pretty obvious once you find yourself on the water looking at the site from the other side: the building will dwarf both the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. It will dominate and redefine this capital harbour city, and everyone will know that this most prominent of buildings catching the rising and setting sun on its brilliant silver skin is Australia's answer to Las Vegas.

Barangaroo casino

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10 thoughts on “Hey Australia, do you really want Packer’s casino to define Sydney?

  1. Crew.Doug

    I couldn’t agree with you more Jonathan! We don’t need ‘Packer’s p-nis’ defining Sydney or its skyline.

  2. john willoughby

    Its so Sydney…a tawdry icon delivered corruptly..

  3. zut alors

    Agree absolutely. Other wealthy men, the Rockefeller brothers, built the World Trade Centre against huge opposition – but the money spoke louder than thousands of displaced residents. As we know, it was perceived as a beacon for capitalism and ended in tears.

    But how to stop Packer’s abomination now…?

  4. Salamander

    Just deserts.

  5. VictorGee

    Maybe Crikey could try to “winkle out” young Mr Utzon’s thoughts about what impact Packer’s monstrosity will have on Sydney’s skyline if it ever get’s built.

    Even better, why not invite comments from around the world from high profile people with independent viewpoints and who are beyond the reach and likely retribution of both Messer’s Packer and O’Farrell

  6. morphy richards toaster

    Like your thinking VictorGee – could rustle up a good (copycat) story in the SMH, too, maybe even the Tellie would join in! Make it happen Crikey!

  7. AR

    “Too late, too late”, quoth the Raven.

  8. Mary Drake

    This building doesn’t, and won’t, define what Australia aspires to be, but what Australia is – a country that has a gambling problem. However it is also a country that has already produced cutting edge research in the fight against cancer as well as one of the greatest medical discoveries ever -antibiotics. Still is an ugly building that belongs in Dubai or Shanghai but not Sydney.

  9. Catherine Rossiter

    Agree absolutely – but how do we stop it? The O’Farrell government is all systems go, and the Opposition is also happy to support it.

  10. Kevin_T

    Quote: “Australia will be saying that the people huddled over the pokies in twilight pubs and the odds racing across every broadcast sporting event are what counts.

    Given that we stop everything for the Melbourne Cup horse race, our regional cities and towns annex public holidays for their respective “Gold Cup” horse races, and that proposals for placing restrictions on our consumption of poker machines is seen as detrimental to the fabric of our society, I am guessing that it is probably a fair way of looking at the, ahem, “lucky” country.

    I assume it is ironic, but this is the first article I have seen that has actually given some justification to this new casino.

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