A coordinator for Canberra’s graffiti

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THE ACT Government has appointed a graffiti coordinator to help manage the Territory’s local graffiti and street art.

Louise Emberson, who has a background in arts and working with the community, will liaise with artists, students, businesses and the broader public to improve how graffiti is managed.

“One of my roles will be to review the 23 legal graffiti sites and identify new sites across the ACT,” Louise said.

“The sites, which are primarily underpasses and spillways, were recently reviewed to ensure they were in areas that were safe for artists, while also minimising impact on local residents.

“Having legal graffiti sites provides an opportunity for artists to improve their skills without engaging in antisocial or criminal activity by illegally painting graffiti on public and private assets.

“My work will involve liaising closely with artists, businesses and the general community to identify other possible graffiti sites as well as working with contractors to remove illegal graffiti.”

The appointment of a graffiti coordinator was one of the outcomes of a roundtable held last year with local artists and stakeholders.

Manager of Planning and Programs with TAMS, Patrick Nolan, said removing illegal graffiti is costly to the ACT Government but having young offenders involved in the ACT Restorative Justice program has produced positive outcomes over the past year.

“Illegal graffiti costs the ACT Government over $500,000 a year to remove,” Patrick said.

“The ACT Restorative Justice program gives young offenders the opportunity to meet with community members, accept responsibility for their own actions and consider the impact on the community.

“We’re committed to better managing graffiti – and Louise’s appointment will demonstrate this by working with artists to provide more opportunities to develop their skills at the right locations.

“Work will also involve reviewing the ACT Government’s graffiti management strategy to make sure we have the right framework in place. The updated strategy will again focus on five key elements for addressing graffiti vandalism, namely prevention; removal; diversion; community awareness and education; and legislation.”

For more information on the 23 graffiti sites in the ACT visit the TAMS website at tams.act.gov.au .

[Photo: Geoff Filmer and Louise Emberson]

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