Subjects; Sydney Opera House and tourism
ROBBIE BUCK: Just been called by Anthony Albanese, he’s had a busy morning in the media, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Tourism. Good morning.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: G’day.
BUCK: What do you make of it?
ALBANESE: Look I, with my Shadow Tourism hat on, think anything that promotes tourism is a good thing. The fact is that Melbourne does use the Melbourne Cup to its great advantage and it’s known as the events capital of Australia. Sydney needs to do much better.
BUCK: So you reckon that using the Opera House to promote a horse race is a good idea? Good use of the Opera House and its intention?
ALBANESE: People should chill out a bit. The fact is that this race is beamed around the world. People do associate Sydney with the Sydney Opera House. I think any time that the Sydney Opera is shown on TV in Beijing or London or Washington or wherever else is a good thing for Australia. Tourism employs a million people and we need to take every opportunity there is to promote Sydney as Australia’s global city.
REBECCA DE UNAMUNO: It’s interesting with the Opera House being so iconic and so many people have worked within the Opera House itself and have performed in the Opera House and it has held in such high regard when it comes to artists and performers who work there. Does advertising on the sides of a building that is encasing your work, do you think that will have some sort of negative impact on those that work there?
ALBANESE: No I don’t think it undermines it at all. And the Opera House has changed. I was there on Tuesday night to see The The. It used to be the case that you couldn’t see – if you had said to me 30 years ago that I would have seen bands like New Order and The The and Paul Weller at the Opera House.
BUCK: Yes, but you can argue that they are cultural and they are artistic and that obviously resonates with the intention of what the Opera House was built. Advertising a race, a horse race, it would seem like a very different kind of cultural event, wouldn’t it?
ALBANESE: Of course it’s different, but the horses aren’t running up and down the sails, nor are they running around. This is using essentially those magnificent sails as a billboard to advertise Sydney, and that’s what happens on days like Chinese New Year.
BUCK: Oh alright. Yes.
ALBANESE: We have the Opera House sails painted red. The fact is that it’s an asset that can be used and I just don’t see that there’s a big down side to it at all.
BUCK: How was The The by the way?
ALBANESE: The The were magnificent. Matt Johnson was very very good and I have got to say, I saw the Pixies there too. Thirty years ago, the truth is I remember there being a debate. I’m old enough to know that there was a debate about whether more modern cultural forms should be able to perform at the Opera House or whether it should be kept to the Symphony Orchestras and the opera. The fact is that it is a great asset and we should be very proud of it.
BUCK: All right. We know where you stand as well. Anthony Albanese thanks for calling in this morning.
ALBANESE: Thanks for having us on.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.