Published in the Eastern Herald last week.
All I need is a can of paint?
This is a plea from a resident this morning.
Where did this start? Many years ago Unley developed a
graffiti management program. This recruited a number of volunteers, provided
each person with cans of paint in
popular fence colours and let them go. It worked well, response times were
quick and graffiti was reduced. At the time the best advice that we had was
that to be effective in reducing graffiti it had to be painted out quickly.
People who graffiti like to see their work and show it off to others. they
don’t like wasting their paint and choose to go elsewhere. Council also began funding mural art on key large walls which were often
Somehow this program lapsed and, following a recent Council
motion, staff have been reviewing the program. The new proposal is somewhat
perplexing: volunteers have been consulted on a range of rules that they would
need to comply with. These rules propose only painting areas of graffiti that
are less than the size of an A4 page, not on private property, below shoulder
height, etc: leaving volunteers with
almost nothing they could effectively do.
The restrictions in the name of Risk Management could render the new
program as good as useless. I understand that Onkaparinga Council has a couple
of vans and trailers that go out each day to remove graffiti, the van is
staffed with volunteers and paint in every colour. While I hope that there
isn’t this much need in Unley, as it’s a fraction of the size, it might be a
good place to get some learnings from.
This, of course still doesn’t manage graffiti within the
rail corridors or on DIT owned infrastructure which can be much worse than the
stuff on local fences and road signs. They paint it out once a year whether it
needs it or not! The two people I had coffee with this morning just need a can
or two of paint, preferably bronze olive, as this is still the most popular
fence colour, to get the job done as often as they can.