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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 8 Hansard (3 August) . . Page.. 3316..

MS TUCKER: Black and white, Mr Cornwell says. No, there are lots of colours and, quite honestly, I think sometimes this city could do with a bit more colour. Some people in the community when being interviewed on radio stations have a disturbing tendency to say certain things. In fact, Mr Cornwell used offensive language again today about "their filthy habits"or something like that.

We are talking about young members of our community. If you talk to youth workers you will understand that each one of those young people who is tagging has a story and each one of those young people who is tagging has the potential to become a contributing member of our community. What we need to do is work out how to do that. It is really stupid to use language like "pathetic imbeciles"or "filthy habits", as I heard Mr Cornwell say here, if you are interested in developing our community. This is not acknowledging that we have a responsibility to look at how we work with young people. I will not repeat the offensive words that I have heard on the radio.

We have an opportunity to work in a more compassionate and constructive way. It is true that right now we see tagging around Canberra, and we will always see tagging around Canberra. But I think we need to realise as a society that we can do something much more positive than some people in this place would suggest.

MS DUNDAS (12.25): Mr Speaker, it appears that some people are confused about what I am trying to achieve in this amendment, so I might just clarify the matter. We are seeking to find a balance between no discussion and at least attempts at real discussion. Mr Cornwell talked about people consulting before art is put up on their walls, and I am talking about people consulting before that art is removed.

There is no way the Department of Urban Services would know whether every piece of street art was legitimately put up after consultation with the building occupiers. If, immediately before removing that street art, they do not find anybody to talk to, then without consultation they can take it away, even though there might have been a long consultation process that led to that art being put up. That is the concern that I have.

Twenty-four hours is not a long time. It does not put a lot of demand on the department or the contractors to try to find somebody to talk to, but it at least provides some time. I am working to achieve some balance between immediately stripping something away and at least giving somebody the opportunity to say, "No, I believe that this is legitimate street art and I want it to remain."

If we continually get people who are putting street art offside, then I think our graffiti problem will continue to rise. We need to work more constructively for better outcomes, as opposed to just tagging the taggers as bad people.

Amendment negatived.

Bill, as a whole, agreed to.

Bill agreed to.

Sitting suspended from 12.27 to 2.30 pm.

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