Mayor backs anti-graf­fiti bid

WARN­ING FOR OF­FEND­ERS TAR­GET­ING BUSI­NESSES IN RE­GION

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Alison Bald­ing MT DRUITT-ST MARYS STAN­DARD, Wed­nes­day, Novem­ber 25, 2015

SHOP own­ers at­tempt­ing to rid Emer­ton of graf­fiti have grabbed the at­ten­tion of Black­town Mayor Stephen Bali, who has warned those re­spon­si­ble to “watch out”.

“You will get caught and, if you do the crime, you will do the time. This is just not on,” Cr Bali said.

Within days of The Stan­dard’s front-page story high- light­ing the prob­lem, Cr Bali vis­ited the shops to see the van­dal­ism for him­self.

He en­cour­aged res­i­dents to re­port of­fend­ers and get the as­so­ci­ated bounty.

De­pend­ing on the dam­age, any­one pre­pared to tes­tify in court can qual­ify for a re­ward be­tween $500 and $2500.

Cr Bali said all stake­hold­ers would meet early next year to dis­cuss a uni­fied plan to com­bat the un­sightly prob­lem.

“You at­tack busi­nesses like this and you are at­tack­ing the com­mu­nity, and the good peo­ple who live here,” he said.

Stand­ing in front of an aban­doned and badly-van­dalised build­ing along­side the Emer­ton Shop­ping Vil­lage carpark, Cr Bali en­cour­aged property own­ers to re­move graf­fiti im­me­di­ately.

Cr Bali vis­ited Oz Chicken co-owner Bill An­ton, who had all but given up the fight.

“We were paint­ing over it reg­u­larly, but they just keep com­ing back,” Mr An­ton said.

“We leave at night and the next morn­ing, there it is.”

Cr Bali promised to look into whether the state-funded anti-graf­fiti trial could be ex­panded to in­clude Emer­ton.

Pic­ture: MATT SUL­LI­VAN

Cr Stephen Bali in Emer­ton.

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