What is the issue?

Graffiti has become a permanent fixture along Melbourne’s major arterials, rail corridors and gateways to our capital city, sending a negative message about the safety and amenity to Melbourne’s residents and visitors.

We know that graffiti is a highly complex social activity that remains a consistent issue for inner city councils across Melbourne. 

Graffiti is a substantial social and economic burden on councils and the community. A longstanding reluctance of the Victorian Government to own the issue is costing Stonnington ratepayers more than $500,000 annually.

Our strategic approach

Our experience shows that a sustained and integrated approach to graffiti is needed. Inner south metropolitan councils deliver a whole-of-council approach to graffiti management that incorporates education, eradication and enforcement. Recent efforts have been directed to educate youth on the difference between legal street art/graffiti and illegal graffiti/vandalism and to encourage homeowners to prevent and report graffiti crime.

As part of our graffiti toolkit, local governments in the region deliver:

  • direct graffiti removal
  • education programs
  • legal community street art walls
  • prevention programs
  • crime prevention through design principles, and
  • partnerships with agencies such as VicPol and Department of Justice & Regulation and service providers.

What needs to change?

Stonnington’s residents are proud of their city and community and expect the State Government to prioritise responses to graffiti.

We see that the lack of cooperation by the State Government, statutory authorities and public utilities is preventing a fully integrated approach to successfully manage graffiti in the community.

Stonnington, along with other inner south metropolitan councils, ask that the State Government work collaboratively with local government to take action to prevent and remove graffiti from its infrastructure.

Council actions

Inner south metropolitan councils formed a working group to address graffiti across the region to:

  • advocate to the State Government for full cost recovery (subject to service agreed standards)
  • build stronger relationships with public utility assets and local government, and
  • continue collaboration across councils.

To assist with ongoing advocacy, the working group have been tasked to:

  • measure the financial gap in more detail to collate the total unit cost and service standards
  • establish a draft service cost recovery model
  • further develop and collaborate on joint opportunities for preventative initiatives that target at risk youths (i.e. public art programs, traffic box signals)
  • encourage councils to engage with Department of Justice Graffiti Removal Program to augment existing removal programs, and
  • work directly with Victoria Police to assist to identify taggers with knowledge sharing, reporting and exchanges of tag photos etc.