Johnno

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Sydney Opera House fenced off for some rich dudes.


Some important people talking Posted by Picasa

There's some rich dudes in town congregating at the Opera House which has caused it to be fenced off........aparently a sympton of democracy or something, according to multi-millionaire convener Steve Forbes. Oh, and one of the bright ideas these rich folks are discussing is nuclear power as the cleaner, greener power alternative.

There might be some pissed off Japanese tourists who won't be able to get their happy snaps around Jorn Utzon's masterpiece sitting like a jewel in Sydney Harbour. But hey, that's democracy for you!

Multimillionaire businessman Steve Forbes has defended the enforcement of tight security measures at the Opera House which have left large parts of the iconic building off limits to Sydneysiders and tourists during a three-day international business gathering.

With police preparing for up to 10,000 activists to converge on the landmark site this evening to protest against the Forbes Global CEO Conference, they have taken the unprecedented move to cordon off the Opera House forecourt to locals, tourists and protesters alike.

Fences have been erected around the Opera House, road blocks are in place throughout the eastern side of Circular Quay and police boats and high-speed inflatables are scouting the water perimeter of the Opera House.

But speaking at the official opening of the conference this morning, Mr Forbes, president and CEO of the Forbes media empire, said tight security measures were a consequence of democracy.

"This is a free country, as is the United States, and certain people want to protest. They have a different view of how to alleviate poverty around the world. They have a right to congregate and make their views known. That means though that extra security measures ... have to be taken temporarily," he said.

However, he promised the inconvenience would be short lived.

"I emphasise that it is temporary. You get to see the Opera House all the time. I've got to see it a few times and look forward to seeing it in the next few days," he said.

Asked if he understood what the protesters were fighting for, he answered: "I'm not sure quite what their demands are except they are against certain words like globalisation. And they are for the environment, they say, and other things."

As a means to overcome global warming, he said it was time to re-examine the use of nuclear energy as a clean source of power.

"I think everyone wants a good clean environment," he said.

Also in attendance at the official opening of the conference were former New York mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, NSW Premier Morris Iemma and Federal Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources Ian Macfarlane.

Mr Iemma said the conference provided similar economic benefits for Sydney as did the 2000 Olympics and the Rugby World Cup.

"The conference provides us with the opportunity to market Sydney and NSW as a destination for investment by the corporations represented at the conference, creating long-term benefits in jobs growth and increased economic activity," Mr Iemma said.

Mr Macfarlane, promoting Australia as the "contemporary business location of choice in the Asia-Pacific region", appeared to mispronounce the former New York mayor's name, referring to him as, "Mayor Giuliano".

2 Comments:

  • The obvious solution to things that occur as a consequence of democracy is to either put limits on "democracy" or, even better, keep it, but circumscribe the rights that are assummed to be essential components.

    If, through fatigue and apathy, people stop voting, then the clear course is to make voting mandatory. Dragooning them into granting ritual legitimacy may seem counter to the spirit of democracy, but it does make for a more robust end user experience -- it's like driving drunk, making your passengers drink with you and threatening to crash the car should they balk.

    By Blogger Deleted, at 5:43 pm  

  • Voting is mandatory down here :-)

    By Blogger Johnno, at 6:37 pm  

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