Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 4 May 2005) . . Page.. 1807 ..
prevent juvenile crime. More sophisticated and inclusionary policies must be developed and politically defended.
According to researchers, such as Dr Iveson and groups representing young people, removing graffiti and trying to prevent it with costly paint technology and surveillance equipment is going to be ineffective and expensive.
An alternative approach to graffiti is to recognise that the problem is where it is written, rather than the graffiti itself. Projects that seek to provide spaces where graffiti is not considered a problem, by creating more legal sites for graffiti and advertising them so that young people know where they are—sites that are attractive to graffiti writers because they are visible and accessible—can provide acceptable alternatives.
The youth coalition produced a report last year and the ACT government developed a graffiti management strategy, partly in response to that report. I am going to run out of time in a minute, so I just want to say that I might be able to bring some of this in when I respond to Mr Hargreaves’s amendments, if I get such an opportunity.
MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra) (5.12): I refer to Mr Hargreaves’s amendments and the substantive motion of Mr Pratt. Might I say to Dr Foskey’s comments: the vast majority of young people simply do not do graffiti. I remember as a young bloke that none of my mates did that. One part of Mr Pratt’s motion jumps out at me a bit here and that is paragraph (b), which reads that this shabby image is having a profound impact on how people generally are feeling about their city, including a feeling of declining safety.
I remember, as a 10 or 11-year-old, going on the train from Canberra to Sydney to stay with the rellies. In inner Sydney you had a whole lot of graffiti in a few stations as you were coming in towards central. That did give it a rather scary look, so I can well and truly imagine a lot of people feeling like that.
In 1988 I had the opportunity to go to New York. As I walked through parts of that place where there was a lot of graffiti it made me feel that it was shabby, and there was a feeling of a lack of safety there. I find that that is especially something that a lot of my older constituents feel.
I do not mind graffiti art. There is, I think, ample opportunity in Canberra to legitimately do that but over the years and certainly over the last 12 months I have noticed that there seems to be that much more graffiti in our city. If Mr Hargreaves has had his strategy up and running since August 2004, I question whether it is working.
I speak to a lot of people who came to Canberra in the 1970s, 1980s or early 1990s, who went away for a while and then came back, who comment on just how tacky the city looks. Invariably they comment about there being a whole lot more graffiti than they ever noticed before. I think that is a very real problem.
I do not think it is terribly appropriate to compare ourselves with other cities, although I note that I probably see a bit less graffiti in Sydney these days than I did as a kid. I note that Mayor Giuliani in New York introduced a zero tolerance policy where instead of the police allowing people to commit minor acts of vandalism such as graffiti they would go and ping them and take them into the station. That had a fairly significant proactive