Costly community clean-up bill after illegal graffiti incident

Published: 06 Mar 2017 2:14pm

The Wagga Wagga community has been left with an expensive clean-up bill after an incident of illegal graffiti at Collins Park at the weekend.

Sometime between Friday night and Sunday morning purple paint was sprayed throughout the popular park in central Wagga Wagga.

The illegal graffiti was sprayed on the park’s public barbecues and barbecue shelter, on the historical gas light poles, street light poles, play equipment, the footpaths, garden edging, rubbish bins and on tree trunks.

The damage to public property, which has been reported to, and investigated by, Wagga Police, will cost about $1200 to remove, including hiring a professional cleaner to remove the stubborn paint.  

“Collins Park is the City’s oldest park and is well used and loved by many community members and visitors to Wagga,” Deputy Mayor Dallas Tout said.

“Graffiti attacks like this are always extremely disappointing, and aside from graffiti to public property being illegal, it is also an unnecessary cost to the broader community. This is money that could have been better spent elsewhere across the Local Government Area.”

The City of Wagga Wagga will start developing an illegal graffiti management plan by the end of the year. A look at other Council illegal graffiti management plans has been undertaken and the plan will be in line with NSW laws relating to graffiti. The plan will guide responses and partnerships with other organisations to help combat illegal graffiti in the City. The plan will also look at graffiti prevention strategies and current removal and maintenance approaches.  

To date in the 2016/17 financial year, illegal graffiti has cost the City of Wagga Wagga more than $6600.    

Report incidents of graffiti

The City of Wagga Wagga is responsible for the removal of illegal graffiti on Council property. Tackling this sort of vandalism is a community effort and together we can all make a difference.

If members of the public see illegal graffiti on Council property they are encouraged to report it by calling 1300 292 442 or by taking a photo on their smartphone and reporting it using the iCouncil app.

For incidents of illegal graffiti on other state government or commercial property, residents are urged to contact the state-wide graffiti hotline, free call on 1800 707 125, or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.