MAKE YOUR MARK ON GRAFFITI LAWS

A review of NSW’s graffiti laws is giving people across the State the opportunity to make their own mark in shaping these laws for the future.

Attorney General Mark Speakman said the review of the Graffiti Control Act 2008 would examine whether the legislation was delivering on its objectives of combatting graffiti.

“Tackling graffiti and illegal bill posting helps drive down crime in local communities and protect public facilities and private properties. We want to find out whether graffiti laws are helping to reduce costs for councils, local businesses and residents who foot the bill for clean-ups,” Mr Speakman said.

The Graffiti Control Act 2008 deals with graffiti offences, the supply of spray paint cans to minors, possession of graffiti implements, removal work by local government and bill posting. The NSW courts finalised a total of 960 charges for offences under the Act in 2018 -19. 570 of these were dealt with in the Local Court and 390 in the Children’s Court.

There are eight criminal offences under the Act, including an offence targeting serious and persistent offenders who intentionally mark premises that is not readily removable with a maximum penalty of $2,200 or 12 months imprisonment.

Mr Speakman said the community was frustrated waking up to find trains, buses, schools, fences and buildings being marred by ugly graffiti tags.

“Our government has taken a strong stance on graffiti including introducing tougher penalties and giving magistrates the power to put offenders on community based orders so they are forced to fix the damage caused by their vandalism,” Mr Speakman said.

The Department of Communities and Justice has prepared a discussion paper which provides an opportunity for people to have their say on the Graffiti Control Act 2008.