War called on graffiti
Community urged to participate in day to help combat the issue
RESIDENTS sick of unattractive tags scrawled across the community are being urged to participate in Graffiti Removal Day on Sunday.
The day aims to help combat the issue which costs the State Government more than $100 million a year.
Blacktown Council has given fed-up shopkeepers a glimmer of hope, targeting graffitied commercial property in a bid to manage the crime long-term.
Council senior co-ordinator of city image Rick Wiezel said council would fund and roll out a new program over the next 12 months to wipe out most-affected sites in the local government area.
He said a State Government grant of $30,000 had allowed the council to trial the program in various hot spots such as Dawson Mall at Mt Druitt. “We have seen an incredible decrease in incidents of graffiti (there) over the past couple of years,” Mr Wiezel said.
Due to the success of the trial, the council will “work in consultation with prop- erty owners” and foot the bill for removal in the future.
One of the hardest-hit areas is the strip of shops in Popondetta Rd, Emerton.
Oz Fried Chicken Norm Khoury manager said ugly graffiti had covered the shop since he took over in 2007, and his team cleaned it up every few months.
When he previously called the council for help he was told it was his responsibility.
But Mr Wiezel said the council understood this, which is why $150,000 was added to the overall $1.5 million budget for graffiti programs and clean-up.
The council is calling for tenders for a potential graffiti-removal contract.
Norm Khoury, of Oz Fried Chicken, is sick of seeing his Emerton shop smeared by unattractive graffiti. Picture: Carmela Roche
Graffiti defaces shopping complexes in the Mt Druitt area, including at Emerton and Whalan, as well as local underpasses. Pictures: Carmela Roche