Page 1796 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 4 May 2005

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written things and are very much respected by other governments. I would be very happy to let you know who they are, Mr Hargreaves, if you should decide that you would like to advance your knowledge a little more.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.


MR PRATT (Brindabella) (4.32): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) the general untidiness and shabby Third World country look of the city as a consequence of the proliferation of graffiti across suburbia and through the city and town centres;

(b) this shabby image is having a profound impact on how people generally are feeling about their city, including a feeling of declining safety;

(c) that graffiti is encouraging an erosion of pride in the look of our city and consequently encouraging further vandalism;

(d) the threat to tourism and the development of business caused by the impact of graffiti and related vandalism; and

(e) the Government’s failure to significantly reduce graffiti, including its failure to implement serious policies aimed at preventing graffiti, protecting government and private property and prosecuting graffiti offenders; and

(2) calls on the Government to take immediate action aimed at:

(f) strengthening policies to seriously tackle graffiti prevention;

(g) providing additional support to owners of private property repeatedly afflicted by graffiti;

(h) prosecuting graffiti offenders and strengthening rehabilitation; and restoring a sense of pride in the community.

There is a growing feeling that Canberra is becoming one of the most graffiti-stricken towns in this country. That, in itself, is bad enough. But that the national capital, for which this government has custodial control and the nation’s trust should have descended to this level of decay is way beyond acceptable. This government should be deeply ashamed for having let this town run down to the extent that it has. I move this motion today to illustrate the level of neglect and the failure of this government to manage this growing problem and to call on the Stanhope government to get serious about tackling the graffiti problem.

The look of a community reflects the pride of that community and reflects the strength of the community—or the lack of a feeling of strength. Whether that is fair or not, that is the fundamental judgment that visitors to the ACT will make. Sometimes I feel a little ashamed to show visitors, particularly our international visitors, graffiti-stricken parts of our town. I recall a lot of cities, towns and villages in developing and Third World countries. Many of them are graffiti stricken but many, regardless of the lack of opportunity, are not. In their own simple way, they are clean, well ordered communities

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