24 – 48 hours is usually how swift Georges River Council is to clean up unwanted graffiti and tagging in the streets of Sydney’s south, making it one of the most efficient cityscape cleansing teams, even by international standards.
Each year, Council actions some 2,000 graffiti removal and cleansing requests, a large proportion of which is proactive work. Council also spends more than 2,200 hours, around $90,000 in labour and materials, removing graffiti in Georges River neighbourhoods.
Since mid-2020, residents have been able to submit removal requests directly to Council’s maintenance reporting system, Log It / Fix It. The requests include graffiti on walls, street furniture, utility boxes and shop fronts, and even peeling off stickers from traffic signs.
Evidence shows it is more effective to prevent unwanted graffiti by encouraging creation of public art and plant-based green screens.
As a part of this year’s Graffiti Removal Day campaign, Council offered support to local schools and social groups for graffiti removal projects by providing clean-up kits and in-kind materials for green screens.
Following an expression of interest (EOI) process earlier this year, Georges River College Peakhurst was selected to create a new green screen on campus to prevent graffiti near the school hall.
Last week, in a bid to prevent unwanted graffiti and tagging, 14 students from the College’s Years 7 to 10 took proactive measures on campus.
Together with Council’s Engineering Operations Officers, the students revamped an area on campus where a storage shipping container was proving to be eyesore. The group utilised equipment, plants and paint provided by Council.
Twelve lilly pilly ‘Northern star’ trees and 12 ‘Katrina’ native grass were then planted to create a green screen.
The students plan to pick lilly pilly berries as they grow and make jam in the coming years.
Georges River Council Mayor Kevin Greene said, “I am extremely proud of the ongoing efforts of Georges River College Peakhurst teachers, students as well as our staff, to keep our neighbourhoods graffiti-free.
“We want to take proactive measures, such as creating sustainable green screens and artistic murals, to remind people that collaborations between the community and Council can elevate our local outdoor dining areas, footpaths and shops, making Georges River a real urban oasis.”