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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 3 Hansard (26 March) . . Page.. 616 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

I did notice that there is still a significant graffiti problem, a problem in particular of tagging. Having been in the car with one of my sons, it was very interesting to hear him talk about the notion of tagging and how endemic that notion is in primary school. The kids can create their own tag and then put that mark somewhere and nobody will know except them and their mates, so the authorities will not find out unless the mates dob. It is that kind of culture that is built into the graffiti we see around us now, so it is going to be quite a challenge for us to try to change that culture.

This report seeks ways to do that, and it also asks government in particular to look at how we can go about it. We certainly want to have the ACT Government report to the Legislative Assembly on the operation of its graffiti clean-up squad. We are very conscious that this report comes down at a time when the Minister, Mr De Domenico, has introduced a system of trying to clean up our graffiti problem. We also recognise the importance of an educative response to the notion of tagging, irresponsible colouring or defacing of road signs and other areas, which I think most of us recognise is pure vandalism. I think that is an important part of the surface response. At the same time, we need to recognise the different levels of concern in the community about what is going on with graffiti. We also need to recognise the levels of dissatisfaction among some members of the community that leads to problems of graffiti.

There are a couple of simple issues that need to be dealt with. For example, our penultimate recommendation states:

the Administration raise directional signs that have been defaced by graffiti ...

There are some very simple solutions that need to be adopted fairly quickly. Signs that are basically out of reach are rarely defaced. I am conscious that often these are set at a national standard, so there may well be a requirement to go back to the national body that sets standards for signs and so on.

Mrs Carnell: And raise all our street lights.

MR MOORE: And street lights. They need to be put out of reach. We have a problem with this because there is a very big difference between out of reach for me and out of reach for the Chief Minister or the Deputy Chief Minister. We have to take into account those sorts of issues. This is a very positive report that looks not only at the positive side of street art but also at the negative side of what we call graffiti and looks to find sensible solutions for removing graffiti, which most members of our community find unacceptable and consider to be vandalism.

MR BERRY (11.48): This report is a step on the way to dealing with the issue of graffiti in the ACT. It is also a step on the way to delivering on a promise I made to the electorate before the last election that there would be an inquiry into this matter and that its aim would be to reduce the impact of graffiti on the Australian Capital Territory. Of course, that became an issue, amongst other issues, in the last election campaign. It remained an issue after the election and in the early stages of this Government.

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