TAMWORTH’S war against graffiti was taken to another level yesterday with the removal of tags, slogans and pictures from the city’s walls, bridges and buildings as part of national Graffiti Removal Day.
Volunteers from the city’s combined Rotary clubs converged on several well-known graffiti sites to paint out the malicious damage marks.
Organisers from the clubs, with the help of Tamworth Regional Council, equipped the volunteers with paint, gloves and safety gear to undertake the work.
Paul Ying, the Graffiti Removal Day co-ordinator, said work this weekend was only the start of continued action the Rotary groups had planned to attack the city’s graffiti problem with force.
As a result of the weekend’s work, the combined Rotary clubs of Tamworth will, over the coming weeks, present Tamworth Regional Council with a proposal to become allies in the ongoing war.
“We know graffiti is a major problem in Tamworth and the surrounding area and we are proposing to work with council to remove it as soon as we can after it is reported,” Mr Ying said.
Yesterday hundreds of tags were painted over in the area around Showground Rd, the Bicentennial Park foot bridge and in Calool Park, South Tamworth.
“We believe if something can be done as soon as possible after a tag is drawn up it will deter people from going back and putting it there again,” Mr Ying said.
On Saturday the city’s skate park in Peel St was given a clean slate too with the help of workers and children using Tamworth’s youth centre, The Youthie.
“The plan there was not to wipe out graffiti entirely, because people are allowed to go there and paint,” Mr Ying said. “But it will mean that there is a fresh canvas and some work will be done to monitor the types of graffiti that are done there.”
Under the plans Rotary hopes to further discuss with council to combat the problem of graffiti, the combined groups will seek to work out a graffiti response arrangement and provision of a mobile cleaning unit.
“We still have to have those discussions but we are hopeful that we would be able to go to sites that have been identified at least once a month and paint out or remove the graffiti,” Mr Ying said.
“We also hope that we would be able to work out an arrangement where Rotary volunteers could access a mobile cleaning unit to take with them to those call outs, equipped with all of the cleaning and protective safety gear they would need.”
Mr Ying said the inaugural Rotary Down Under national Graffiti Removal Day had been a success.
“Tamworth was one of 50 local government areas in the state identified to have such a problem that this day of action could be rolled out,” he said.
“The response and willingness of volunteers has been really encouraging. Graffiti is a major problem in our city and it costs council a lot of money. Rotary is passionate about combating graffiti and we are proud to be able to work with the NSW government, Tamworth Regional Council and other sponsors to keep this campaign going.”