Local member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney, today announced applications for the State Government’s new Graffiti Clean-up Community Grants Program were now open.
Ms Tierney urged Cobden to take advantage of the program to assist with the fight against graffiti in the local community.
Ms Tierney said the non-recurrent grants of between $5,000 and $25,000 would fund initiatives in which councils worked with local communities to clean-up graffiti.
“I warmly welcome this program as it will assist communities to improve the look of local neighbourhoods and will hopefully encourage the establishment of anti-graffiti initiatives well into the future.
It helps deliver on the State Government’s commitment to build friendly, confident and safe communities across Victoria,” she said.
Ms Tierney said $4.5 million was allocated in the last State Budget to tackle graffiti.
She said $600,000 will be available over the next two years for local graffiti clean-up projects.
Ms Tierney said the grants are one part of a suite of initiatives implemented by the State Government to prevent and remove graffiti and send the message that graffiti is a crime.
“This funding is vital to fighting the graffiti scourge in our neighbourhoods as research has proven that the most effective way to prevent graffiti is through rapid removal,” she said.
“The aim of this grants program is to remove graffiti and it provides the initial support councils and their local partners need to build sustainable clean-up programs.”
Ms Tierney said Council partners may include community and resident groups and local trader associations and that funding is available for securing graffiti removal trailers and buying the materials required to establish and run community-based clean-up projects.
“This grants program will complement local initiatives already operating including the great work done by Corrections Victoria in using low-risk offenders to clean-up graffiti in neighbourhoods across the State,” she said.
The grants follow the recent introduction of tough new anti-graffiti laws in Victoria.
For the first time in Victoria, graffiti will be a specific offence under the new Graffiti Prevention Act, and police will have the power to search for and seize graffiti-related articles such as spray paint cans.
Ms Tierney said the laws and clean-up grants send a message to graffiti vandals that the community is fed up with graffiti.
“The State Government understands community concern about graffiti and is working on a number of levels to prevent and remove graffiti, and detect and deter offenders,” shesaid.
Applications close on the 25th of January 2008 at 2pm.