GETTING TO IT: Newcastle Enterprise Rotary Club members will be cleaning up graffiti at Mayfield on Sunday. Picture: Max Mason-HubersALMOST every day Newcastle City Council’s graffiti and rapid response team receivea fresh report ofpainted scrawl.
More than$1 million is allocated annuallyin the council budget for graffiti removal and general cleaning from anti-social activities.
But the cost is not felt by government alone, property owners are also at times bearing the brunt of graffiti damage.
Howeveron Sunday,a string of volunteers across the Hunter will take part in the state’sGraffiti Removal Day.
Supported by the NSW government, the day is heldto lower incidents of graffiti vandalism through removal, prevention and education.
This year’s theme is‘Love Where We Live’, encouragingparticipationin making communities a better place by caring for a city, suburb or street and loving the result of the work.
ON THE JOB: Newcastle Enterprise Rotary Club members Trish Moore, Howard Bridgman and Diana Bridgman paint over a wall of graffiti at Mayfield. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
Newcastle Enterprise Rotary Club will hold its clean up at Mayfield and Maryville, removing graffiti from businesses and community facilities with young offenders.
“Last year volunteers across NSW removed over 30,000 square metres,or five football fields, ofgraffitifrom 460 sites,” Damien Keegan from Newcastle Enterprise Rotary Club said.
“GraffitiRemoval Day is a great opportunity for people to come together and show they love where they live by helping to remove and prevent uglygraffiti.”
Newcastle City Council has four full-time staff as part of its graffiti and rapid response team.
“Our crews responded to308 reports of graffitiacross the 2017/18 financial year,”a council spokesman said.
“Reports come in to us through our main customer service number, the NSW Graffiti Hotline and via the City’s ‘My Local Services’ app and ‘Snap, Send, Solve’.
“These apps have made reporting easier and increased the amount of graffiti removal work our crews undertake on a daily basis.”
The council has initiatives such as community art to help reduce the impact of graffiti, and while it has reduced incidents, it remains an ongoing battle.
STRIKING: A mural in Newcastle. Picture: Marina Neil
“The city commissions artists to paint murals at these [hot spot] sites, which we have found deters targeting by vandals,”a council spokesperson said.
“Some successful examples are murals in Wallsend, Nesca Park, Alder Park and Dangar Park, and at Mayfield Library.”
Graffiti Removal Day will start from 9am at Web Park, Mayfield,and NERC is encouragingthe public to take part.No equipment is necessary.
“People who volunteer to help out on the day will be supplied with free cleaning material, paint, safety equipment, free lunch and training on how to safely removegraffitiby our sponsors Dulux, Techni-clean, Rotary, n Rail Track Corporation and Selleys,” Mr Keegan said.
“The day is also an importunity opportunity for young people to understand the impacts and consequences ofgraffitivandalism and it is good to see a number of young offenders involved in removinggraffition the day.”