Yesterday, Crikey writers (including Margot Saville, Bernard Keane, and Guy Rundle) had the first of many stabs at trying to unpack the Opera House advertising debacle across several articles. As expected, readers matched their ire, interrogating the dubious decisions of the NSW government, Labor’s capitulation, and PM Morrison’s virtues, all while offering some suggestions of their own.
On the Sydney Opera House’s sudden interest in horse racing
Jim Hanna writes: Margot writes that the NSW government received $96 million in revenue from racing activities in 2016-17. This is after it gave the racing industry an $80m tax cut in 2015, when the then-Baird government slashed wagering taxes. It’s clearly a more powerful lobby group than it is a revenue raiser. In 2008, the industry received $43m from the Iemma government as “compensation” for the World Youth Day event — money that was used to upgrade Warwick Farm racecourse, among other things. The industry claimed the WYD event would damage the track. Bollocks. Earlier that year, it hired out the racecourse to the Future music festival — another major event — so it couldn’t have been too concerned.
thelorikeet writes: Maybe Morrison has also made a mistake, exposing his predilection for reducing even cultural icons to fiscal transactions. And just in time for a byelection (bye election?).
Arky writes: NSW Liberal and NSW Labor once again lining up together to support the racing and gambling industry, just like with greyhounds after Mike Baird’s flirtation with do-gooding fell apart. This was to be expected of Luke Foley, but is very disappointing from Albanese, and hopefully we now hear no more of this idea of Albo, Great Left Wing Hope.
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Unimpressed writes: The solution is blindingly obvious, project the advertising for racing and all forms of gambling on the war memorials dotted around the country. Two-up and other forms of gambling were enjoyed by diggers around the globe so what would be more natural than touting for a bookie via a war memorial. Those who object to that obviously aren’t patriotic enough and should go study at the Ramsay Centre for a while.
Xoanon writes: Aside from the sadly expected corporate thrall of the Libs, this issue throws into relief how compromised Labor is in its own acquiescence to the market-worship cult which is neo-liberal economics. Can’t they see that this cynical flogging of publicly-owned icons is exactly what people despise about processes such as privatisation?
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