Minister for Crime Prevention Edward O’Donohue today celebrated a major milestone in the fight against graffiti, with two million square metres of graffiti removed under the Victorian Coalition Government’s community clean-up program.
Speaking in Heidelberg today with Liberal candidate for Ivanhoe Carl Ziebell, Mr O’Donohue said offenders on community correction orders have removed two million square metres of graffiti from buildings and public areas throughout the state.
“Community work teams play a critical role in cleaning graffiti from public property, some of which would not otherwise have been cleaned,” Mr O’Donohue said.
“This month, the program achieved the significant milestone of removing two million square metres of graffiti – an area equal to almost 100 MCG playing arenas – which would have cost $50 million at commercial rates.”
Through the Graffiti Removal Program, supervised teams of offenders on communitycorrections orders clean up graffiti from hotspots identified by program partners.
Mr O’Donohue said this impressive result shows how successfully the government has partnered with local councils throughout the state to wipe out graffiti and make public areassafer.
“The Graffiti Removal Program has 29 partnerships statewide, working with partners, stakeholders and community groups to tackle the scourge of graffiti in the community,” Mr O’Donohue said.
One of those partner councils is the City of Banyule. Mr O’Donohue presented council with an award for this partnership on the occasion of reaching the milestone.
Mr Ziebell emphasized the importance of communities working with the Coalition Government to improve community safety.
“The Coalition Government has created the first ever crime prevention portfolio to give communities the opportunity to find local solutions to local crime problems,” Mr Ziebell said.
“Graffiti removal is a great example of taking action at the community level to make people safer, and help them feel safer.”
Mr O’Donohue said removing graffiti from public property maintains the appearance of streetscapes and neighbourhoods and helps to increase the public perception of safety.
“Illegal graffiti is vandalism and a crime that carries with it significant penalties – up to two years in prison and up to $34,600 in fines,” Mr O’Donohue said.
“It is important that as a community we get the message out that there is nothing glamorous about defacing public and private property.”
Other Coalition Government graffiti initiatives include the Graffiti Prevention and Removal Grants program, which supports councils and community groups to develop local solutions to graffiti, and portable graffiti removal systems, which help councils and communities address
small to medium graffiti attacks.