Local councils now have access to grants of up to $25,000 to target graffiti under an expanded program that has cleaned up one million square metres of graffiti across Victoria.
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said applications for graffiti grants of between $5,000 and $25,000 are now open to help councils and local community and sporting groups form partnerships to fight graffiti.
“Over the past six years, offenders working on graffiti clean-up teams across Victoria have cleaned up more than one million square metres of graffiti, an area equal to the size of 50 MCG playing fields, or twice the area of Albert Park Lake,” Mr Bull said.
“This year, the Coalition Government committed $13.5 million to a zero-tolerance approach to graffiti, and is providing these grants to fund projects for the prevention and removal of graffiti at the local level.
“These grants will fund projects that deter, prevent and clean-up graffiti, such as graffiti removal kits and trailers, education programs and environmental design features such as murals.
“Grants would be open to councils to partner with resident’s groups, retailers and local business, community service organisations, community and sporting groups, police and utility companies to deliver projects.“The Coalition Government’s commitment to stamping out graffiti includes a $4million boost to roll out a rapid response program to deliver additional clean-up services at graffiti hotspots,” he said.
“The rapid response program will not only act as a strike team to remove graffiti from problem areas, it will also gather intelligence that can be fed back to councils to prevent, deter and potentially prosecute those responsible for graffiti.”
With the addition of the rapid response program, up to 48 offender work teams under the supervision of Community Correctional Services each week will remove graffiti from state and local government assets, community assets and private property.
Since the Graffiti Removal Program began, it has provided more than $25 million worth of graffiti removal services. Over one million square metres of graffiti has been removed, accounting for almost 340,000 hours of unpaid community work worth $8.3million.
Mr Bull said, “the grants were part of the Coalition Government’s broader community crime prevention agenda, aimed at empowering communities to find local solutions to local issues.”
Last week, the Coalition Government announced Community Safety Fund grants of up to $10,000 to pay for security infrastructure such as lighting, fencing and locks for councils, sporting and community groups.