Thousands protest controversial Everest light show on Sydney Opera House

The Chaser project new ad onto Opera House as Jones apologises for Louise Herron interview

The protest follows Racing NSW's decision earlier in the day to cancel its live barrier draw for Saturday's $13 million race, citing security risks amid ongoing public outrage.

Protesters have come out in droves in an attempt to foil a campaign to project the The Everest race's barrier draw onto the Sydney Opera House.

An estimated 2,000 people bearing torches surrounded the base of the Opera House on the foreshore of the harbour and attempted to interrupt the display.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian intervened to allow it to go ahead just hours after the Opera House Chief Executive Louise Herron copped a major on-air spray from broadcaster Alan Jones.

The barrier draw was today held in confidence by Racing NSW stewards with the results kept private until they were beamed onto the Opera House sails.

"I used some words in these programs about the Everest, and the Opera House, and Louise, which in hindsight I now most regret hearing, having heard the impact they've clearly had on some people", said Jones.

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Almost 3000 people are also expected to attend a protest at that time to disrupt the Everest projection with torches and mobile phone lights. "We have to fight to stop more of this appalling advertising", 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.

The Facebook post also had images of the Sydney Opera house superimposed with text and images touting Melbourne's superiority over the harbour city. The Sydney Opera House initially rejected the proposal but a state official overruled and allowed a revised 10-minute projection of the ad for October 9.

In a letter to the premier on Tuesday, the NSW Heritage Council said it was extremely disappointed with the government's decision and described the projection as "inappropriate".

"The Opera House management has approved exemptions under the Heritage Act to make these types of decisions", the spokesman said.

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