Graffiti (1.04.2014)

Written on the 2 April 2014

Ms CROZIER (Southern Metropolitan) -- The news report yesterday of 18 cars and a number of shops being vandalised in a graffiti spree with a damage bill of $50 000 is completely unacceptable. The vandals who carried out the act have no respect or regard for other people's property.

Graffiti is a crime and carries severe penalties, including maximum fines in excess of $33 000 and up to two years jail.

It was therefore timely that I was in Oakleigh yesterday to present to the local traders a graffiti removal kit. Portable graffiti removal systems have been allocated across Victoria, and I commend the Minister for Crime Prevention, Mr Edward O'Donohue, on this important and very well-received initiative which will allow local communities to address removal of unsightly graffiti on private property.

I was shown some of that unsightly graffiti in the laneway and on property fences in the main Oakleigh village by the secretary of the Oakleigh Traders Association, Cindy Hartnett. It is an area that she and others take great pride in. Cindy's business has previously been targeted by vandals. Cindy took immediate action in painting over the graffiti on the boundary fence, but that was time and money that she had to provide because of the senseless act of others.

The coalition government has committed more than $10 million over four years in its anti-graffiti plan to support local communities to tackle illegal graffiti. The graffiti kits provided to local traders will now enable them to remove graffiti promptly. Prompt removal deters graffiti and lessens its effect. Graffiti is unsightly, influences public perceptions of public safety and is costly to local business and communities for its removal. Tagging and graffiti should not be tolerated.

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