Money there to wipe graffiti

COUNCILS in the North East are able to access grants from the Victorian government to combat graffiti in their regions.

Both the member for Benambra, Bill Tilley, and member for Benalla, Bill Sykes, are urging them to apply for grants up to $25,000.

Mr Tilley said any money provided would enable councils to get rid of eyesores in their region.

His electorate covers the Wodonga, Indigo, Towong and part of the Alpine Council regions.

“We do not have a big problem with graffiti like other areas in the state,” Mr Tilley said.

“But I don’t want people going out to tag things just because they know there is money available to clean up their mess.”

Dr Sykes said councils in the region should think about graffiti solutions that would improve the visual amenity of neighbourhoods and increase community confidence in the safety of public places.

“The government is serious about responding to community concerns about graffiti vandalism, which is why we have committed more than $10 million over four years to reducing graffiti through a range of strategies under our anti-graffiti plan,” he said.

“The grants are open to councils to partner with local organisations such as schools, community and residents groups along with police, retailers and trader associations to come up with local solutions to tackle graffiti.”

Dr Sykes said a key part of the graffiti grants program was for communities to come up with ways to prevent it whether it was through school education programs or the installation of murals in graffiti hotspots.

Other projects may involve graffiti removal.

Dr Sykes said the government was committed to stamping out graffiti at a local level.

“Over the past three years, the government has provided more than $918,000 to fund 57 projects across the state through the grants,” he said.

Crime Prevention Minister Edward O’Donohue said the Labor Party had shown its lack of commitment to such programs by abolishing the crime prevention portfolio from the shadow ministry.