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NSW Deputy Premier Criticises Sydney Opera House For $50,000 Licence Fee

N
ew South Wales (NSW) deputy premier, John Barilaro, has criticised the Sydney Opera House Trust for increasing their licensing fee from $1,000 to $50,000 per year.

This move means sporting clubs in the city that use the Opera House’s sails in their logos, including the Sydney Swans, Sydney Roosters, Sydney FC, and the Sydney Kings, would have to pay $50,000 per year to use a likeness of the building in their branding.

Barilaro told 2GB Radio he was annoyed by the decision.

“This is just a cash grab by an elite group of society and something that I’m bloody annoyed with,” Barilaro said.

“It seems like at a time where we’re hurting, businesses are hurting, corporate dollars are drying up for sporting groups, the Opera House thinks it’s above all of that and has gone in for a bit of a cash grab.

“The Opera House isn’t just for the elite of Sydney…it actually represents every Australian.

“It looks like we have just thrown this ‘we’re all in this together’ slogan out the window.

“This is a disgrace – this is paid by Australian taxpayers, built by Australians and it’s iconic.

“Having that logo used on sporting groups at any level – it is the best way you can promote the Opera House and Sydney and New South Wales.

“At a time where we are hurting, businesses are hurting and corporate dollars are drying up for sporting groups – the Opera House thinks it’s above all of that,” he said.

Following the announcement, the NBL’s Sydney Kings have announced they will introduce a rebrand of the club’s logo later this year, not wanting to pay the increased fee.

NBL commissioner, Jeremy Loeliger, said the club can’t justify that amount of money to retain its logo.

“[The Sydney Opera House Trust] are entirely within their rights to do that and the conversations were amicable, and they were very cooperative, but between the Kings and ourselves it just didn’t stack up commercially as being a good value for money outcome,” Loeliger said.

“The people at the Trust were good in their recollection was that Basketball Australia were given a sweet deal because it was essentially a case of financial hardship for the Kings at the time.

“If that is what they, the Opera House Trust, get from elsewhere in the market, then we are pretty used to not being able to afford the things that our older, bigger brothers can afford.

“But that is okay.

“We are also pretty good at being able to reinvent ourselves in ways that we can afford, and in doing so we tend to do a good job at adding value to whatever it is we do in developing a brand.

“From my point of view, there is no ongoing ill will, everyone has to try and do business in this environment,” he said.

Commenting on the Kings’ decision to rebrand to avoid the new licensing fee, a Sydney Opera House Trust spokesperson said, “the recent approach with the Sydney Kings is part of an ongoing process to ensure consistency in commercial brand use and trademark licences.”