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A controversial proposal to project a horse racing ad on the world famous sails of the Sydney Opera House has been approved by the NSW Government.

The ad, which was proposed by Racing NSW to promote The Everest horse race, was initially rejected by Sydney Opera House chief executive officer Louise Herron, as it would breach a policy against the commercialisation of the World Heritage landmark.

However, The New South Wales government has ordered the Sydney Opera House to display the ad following a campaign by Sydney tabloid newspaper the Daily Telegraph and radio shock jock Alan Jones.

The ad will promote a $13m horse race which takes place in Sydney on 13 October, which campaigners claimed will contribute $100m to the economy and deliver a tourism boom to Sydney.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has waded into the debate by supporting the state government’s decision saying it was “common sense” to advertise sporting events on the iconic site.

“This is one of the biggest events of the year. Why not put it on the biggest billboard Sydney has?” said Mr Morrison.