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Shire sketches out anti-tag plan

Unsightly: Graffiti lines a brick wall in Crib Point. Picture: Daryl GordonA GRAFFITI policy has been adopted by Mornington Peninsula Shire to enforce its stance against the unsightly vandalism.
Nanjing Night Net

The policy was voted in by councillors at a September 10 meeting.

Long-time anti-graffiti activist, Hastings resident and council candidate John Antoine said it was a step in the right direction but he was keen to find out the finer details of the policy.

“Some of the graffiti has sat here for 10 years so we need a system where it is removed quickly,” he said. “This is a big issue on the Mornington Peninsula and we need a comprehensive policy that covers all aspects of the problem.”

Mr Antoine said the shire needed to follow the lead of other councils that already had successful anti-graffiti policies in place.

The policy follows on from the Victorian Graffiti Prevention Act 2007, which states it is an offence to mark property without the owner’s consent.

The act also states it is an offence to sell spray paint to anyone under the age of 18 or advertise the sale of spray paint cans.

During the council meeting, some councillors raised concerns about how graffiti was reported in the shire and the lack of power the council had when graffiti appeared on private assets.

The shire’s director sustainable infrastructure Alex Atkins said a problem arose when the graffiti was on private property. The council did not have the authority to remove graffiti from private property unless permission was granted by the owner.

“We do have problems punishing the victim for graffiti that has occurred on their property.”

The policy was passed by councillors and will be refined by shire officers in coming weeks.