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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 1 Hansard (11 February) . . Page.. 172..


MR CORNWELL (continuing):

The plan calls for involving young and adult offenders in graffiti removal practices so that they realise the consequence of graffiti vandalism. I think that might be a little difficult, but certainly there is no reason why they should not be involved in cleaning up. Another part of the plan is to provide recognition to artists by assisting them to develop and display their talents. A number of initiatives have come from that Townsville study and I commend it to the government.

But there are further solutions, because-surprise, surprise!-on Wednesday 11 February, Mr Wood issued a media release entitled "Next steps towards a graffiti management strategy". I am flattered, Chief Minister, that my bill has flushed out such a response today. Very clearly, the government is concerned about graffiti, and it has every reason to be. But again, as with this government repeatedly, we do not expect and we should not expect any great move. The media release stated:

The Government is-

guess what?-

currently consulting with key stakeholders so that a comprehensive draft strategy-the first ever developed by an ACT government-

wait for it-

can be released for public comment in April...

By that time this city will be festooned with graffiti if we allow this situation to continue. We now have to wait a couple more months, not for any action but for public comment. It would seem to me, Chief Minister, that you do not need public comment. All you have to do is go out and talk to people in the street. Perhaps you could invite them to phone you. They certainly phone me.

I think public comment about the graffiti vandalism is self-evident-they do not like it. But it gets worse. You are going to release a draft strategy for public comment in April. The media release continued:

When the draft strategy is released...there will be a one month public consultation period, and the final Strategy will be implemented from June 2004.

By that time, Canberra will be not only the graffiti capital of Australia but also the rainbow city, I would suggest-and I am not referring to the rainbows in San Francisco. The media release went on to state:

It will look at five main themes: prevention; removal; diversion; community awareness and education; and legislation.

That is good. I have just introduced a piece of legislation-the Crimes Amendment Bill 2004-and I would be quite happy to have that incorporated. I do not mind being gazumped on this. If you wish to incorporate my legislation in those proposals, by all means go ahead and do so, but I suggest you do it before June 2004.


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