29 February 2024

Students help tackle costly problem of graffiti vandalism

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People painting over graffiti on a fence.

Albion Park High School students and members of Shellharbour Rotary Club work together to remove graffiti in Albion Park. Photo: Shellharbour City Council.

Shellharbour City Council is expecting to fork out about $185,000 this year to get rid of graffiti vandalism.

In the 2022/23 financial year, council dealt with 95 graffiti work orders at a cost of $120,616.

However, there are already 103 work orders this financial year, and a projected total cost of $185,000.

Shellharbour Mayor Chris Homer said graffiti vandalism was an ongoing problem across the state.

“Shellharbour is a stunning part of the world and we are doing our best to keep it that way, but we also need the community’s help,” he said.

And the community came to the fore this week (Monday 26 February) at council’s annual graffiti removal day, run in conjunction with Lake Illawarra Police District.

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Students from Albion Park High School and volunteers from Shellharbour Rotary Club rolled up their sleeves alongside police and council staff, including the youth services team.

The group tackled graffiti on laneways off Albion Park’s Con O’Keefe Oval.

“Localised events like graffiti removal day not only raise awareness of the issue, but also provide an opportunity for residents to display community pride,” Cr Homer said.

“Through initiatives such as the More Things Like This mural festival and ongoing mural program, council has been working with established and emerging artists to create large-scale artworks in high-target areas across Shellharbour City.

“These projects aim to reduce the incidence of graffiti, tagging and malicious damage to property to enhance and enliven the area while connecting and inspiring the community.”

People can report graffiti via the NSW Graffiti Hotline on 1800 707 125. Graffiti on Shellharbour Council property can be reported via council’s website or by phoning 4221 6111.

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