Litter-busters call for urgency against graffiti

Keep Australia Beautiful Chief Executive Officer Peter McLean
Keep Australia Beautiful Chief Executive Officer Peter McLean Supplied

NATIONAL litter-buster Keep Australia Beautiful has fired a new salvo in the war against rubbish, calling on home owners and businesses to help wipe out graffiti by cleaning if off as soon as it appears.

Keep Australia Beautiful Chief Executive Officer Peter McLean said research revealed graffiti vandals or 'taggers' enjoyed seeing their handiwork on display and that immediate removal prevented copycat offences and vandals from seeing the fruits of their labour.

Background: Love message all heart but classed as graffiti

Mr McLean is calling on businesses and home owners to show their support for Graffiti Free Week from March 16 - 22 by reporting visual litter to the police or local council or cleaning it off wherever possible.

"The estimated cost of graffiti and other forms of vandalism to the Australian community is a massive $2.7 billion a year, making visual litter the new scourge in our fight against litter bugs[1]," Mr McLean said.

"Apart from the clean-up costs, there are other economic ramifications; people and businesses avoid these areas and real estate prices suffer.''

The Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney General estimated the clean-up cost of graffiti was $200 million per year with $5.5 million spent on wiping visual litter off rail infrastructure.

Last year 128 offenders were ordered to perform 1,160 hours of clean-ups across Queensland, on the Gold Coast alone about 3,500 square metres of buildings and other structures were re-painted because of graffiti.

MCINDOE PARK: Vandals attacked walls and the commentary box at McIndoe Park.
MCINDOE PARK: Vandals attacked walls and the commentary box at McIndoe Park.

Mr McLean said research showed communities with high levels of graffiti attracted further crime.

"Graffiti can lead to an increase in crime in an area as well as a rise in the fear of crime because it suggests neglect and apathy," he said.

"Neighbourhoods are then on a downward spiral.''

Mr McLean said Keep Queensland Beautiful ran an Adopt-a-Spot program in which individuals, businesses and community groups removed graffiti from designated places but more ammunition was required to win the visual litter war.

"For the first time, KAB is including graffiti in its annual National Litter Index which surveys the amount and type of litter across the country,'' he said.

"This information tells where the problem hot spots are located and serves as a trend indicator for future policy decisions.

"Just like littering, graffiti is deliberate disrespectful conduct which degrades communities and the environment and the cost of cleaning it up is becoming astronomical.

"Research shows there are currently an estimated 1,470,398 cases of criminal damage each year across the country with the cost per offence gauged to be $1,853.''

Mr McLean said anyone in doubt of the seriousness of the issue need only compare the cost of graffiti to other crimes:

  • Fraud: $6 billion
  • Drug Abuse: $3 billion
  • Assault: $3 billion
  • Criminal Damage: (vandalism and graffiti) $2.7 billion
  • Arson: $2.3 billion 

KAB is teaming up with its sister organisation, Keep New Zealand Beautiful, to launch a trans-Tasman assault on visual litter.

"This is a concerted, combined effort to raise awareness of the cost and visual pollution of graffiti,'' Mr McLean said.

During Graffiti Free Week, KAB is urging Queenslanders to target a tagger in their local community by dobbing them in to local authorities, calling Graffiti Stop on 1300 427 334  or reporting confidentially online

Top tips for targeting taggers:

  • Report new graffiti and offenders as soon as possible. Most councils, police and state governments have a reporting service.
  • Repair and get rid graffiti ASAP to discourage further conduct.
  • Educate fellow residents and business owners that graffiti is vandalism and has no artistic merit.
  • Apply to local councils for assistance to have graffiti removed from private property.
  • Consult a landscape designer on ways to deter illegal graffiti through environmental design elements.
  • Adopt-a-Spot: Invite the local community to keep a part of their area clean and graffiti-free. Sign up at
  • Download the Keep Queensland Beautiful smartphone app from iTunes or Android app stores and report graffiti.

Topics:  business editors picks graffiti keep australia beautiful rubbish

'F*** off dogs': Crash survivor strikes paramedic

PARMEDIC HIT: Bonnie Brodie assaulted a paramedic called to a crash scene to help her.

Car crash survivor hits paramedic, kicks cop, gets jail - suspended.

Tourism boost with 'hundreds' flocking to Gladstone's CBD

Tannum Sands treasure Maree McLelvie, Gladstone president Hether Wieland and Gladstone vice president Pat Van Bergen with artwork donater by Sue Daw which is just one of the items on auction at next weeks QCWA conference.

More than 300 people will flock to Gladstone next week.

Local Partners

'Best markets yet': Big sales at CBD markets: Photos

THE smell of fresh flowers, fruit and vegetables waft through the Gladstone CBD for the second City Farmer's Markets today.

Your chance to win

Learn More

Former Split Enz front man Tim Finn finds new niche

Singer Tim Finn has written the music for theatre production Ladies in Black.

Musician finds his way to theatre

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Tim Finn headlining at Airlie Beach Music Festival

Music veteran Tim Finn from New Zealand will headline the Airlie Beach Music Festival.

Tim Finn: "It's the kind of festival that artists love"

Azealia Banks won't take legal action against Russell Crowe

Rapper Azealia Banks

Rapper drops legal action against Russell Crowe

Brad Pitt meets with his kids amid divorce proceedings

Actor Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt has met up with his oldest son Maddox

Pictures of Taylor Swift allegedly being groped are sealed

They could "complicate jury selection".

Bruce Springsteen finds therapy useful

Singer Bruce Springsteen

Singer encourages others to seek help

Kerry Washington wants one more child

Kerry Washington recently gave birth to her second child

Kerry has only just become a new mum again

TRAVEL: Musicals light up Sydney

David Campbell performs in Dream Lover.

We take a trip through one of Sydney's finer scenes

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

Push to sell homes that flooded Gladstone's market

Suburban housing in Glenvale, Toowoomba, Friday, October 17, 2014. Photo Kevin Farmer / The Chronicle

URGENT push to cash-up first home buyers investing in Gladstone.

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.