Member for Baulkham Hills David Elliott has welcomed the introduction of the Graffiti Control Amendment Bill 2013 in the NSW Parliament as an appropriate way to address the problem of graffiti.
Mr Elliott said the community had made its voice loud and clear on the issue of graffiti, and that it was now time for the Government to act.
“There can be no doubt that graffiti is a major scourge in our State’s urban areas,” Mr Elliott said.
“Graffiti ruins local amenity, destroys civic pride and encourages urban decay.
“This is in addition to the enormous amount of public, and indeed private, time and money that is wasted cleaning up this petty vandalism.
“Worse still is the fact that graffiti is frequently a gateway offence. Graffiti vandalism is often the start of antisocial behaviour that can lead to other criminal activities, particularly amongst our youth.”
Mr Elliott said the new legislation will ensure public areas are protected from vandalism.
“The people of The Hills have few complaints, but graffiti is definitely one of them,” Mr Elliott said.
“Since the last State election my electorate office has been vandalised in three separate graffiti attacks.
“I for one have had an absolute gutful of this vulgar vandalism—enough is enough.”
The Graffiti Control Amendment Bill 2013 creates two categories of graffiti: a basic graffiti offence and an aggravated offence.
The basic offence will prohibit a person from intentionally marking any premises or property unless that person has the consent of the occupier or owner, or has a reasonable excuse for doing so, proof of which lies with the person.
For a basic offence the maximum penalty will be a fine of $440.
The aggravated offence recognises that markings that are not readily removable or that are made by graffiti implements are serious.
Cases of aggravated graffiti will incur a higher penalty of a maximum fine of $2,200 or 12 months imprisonment.