Criminals to pay for graffiti clean-up in Rooty Hill and Doonside

Blacktown City Council will receive $170,000 from the Australian Government to combat graffiti in Rooty Hill and Doonside - funded from money seized from criminals.

After a long running campaign for this funding by Federal Member for Chifley Ed Husic, Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare visited Rooty Hill today to announce the funding with Blacktown Mayor Councillor Alan Pendleton.

“These projects will make a difference,” said Mr Husic.

“Graffiti is vandalism, it’s as simple as that,” Mr Clare said.

The grant is funded by the Proceeds of Crime Fund, and will help Blacktown Council rollout its Graffiti Education Program and the Graffiti Mentoring Program.

“They will target young people at risk of committing graffiti and vandalising our community – and look to reduce the risk of this crime occurring”, Mr Husic said.

“I’ve been lobbying for this funding following concerns raised with me by local small businesses and residents about the impact that graffiti has on the look and feel of Rooty Hill and Doonside.”

“I congratulate Blacktown City Council for their work in securing the grant – and I also want to thank the local area commands of Mt Druitt and Blacktown Police, Blacktown Youth Services Association and Eagle Raps for their advice and assistance.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the project being implemented.”

Mr Clare said that the Government is taking money taken from criminals to clean up graffiti.

“It is wilful damage to public and private property, and that’s a crime.

“Graffiti is the scourge of a lot of local communities. This money will help local councils to clean it up and prevent it coming back.”

“What I like about the Blacktown Council project is that it tackles the causes of vandalism.”

Blacktown Mayor Alan Pendleton said that Council was pleased to partner with Blacktown Youth Services Association to undertake the Graffiti Education Project.

“These projects will provide an informative and interactive anti-graffiti message to primary and secondary school students.

“The Graffiti Education Project and Graffix Project will complement and enhance a range of other graffiti management strategies that are proposed to be undertaken as part of Council's pending Graffiti Management Plan (2012-2017), which is expected to be presented to Council in late 2012,” Mayor Pendleton said.

The projects are two of 26 being funded for councils and community partners across Australia to help fight graffiti.

The Proceeds of Crime Fund enables money confiscated under Commonwealth laws to be used for crime prevention.

This year the Federal Government has provided $6 million in community grants under the Proceeds of Crime Act, including funding for crisis accommodation for women and children escaping domestic violence, for Police and Community Youth Centres and Blue Light organisations across Australia, and to combat graffiti.

*** Joint media release with The Hon. Jason Clare MP, Minister for Justice

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Ed Husic MP
Federal Labor Member for Chifley

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