A recent spate of graffiti attacks in Wollongong's northern suburbs has prompted the Corrimal Chamber of Commerce to launch a Graffiti Response Team.
Chamber president Neil Johnston said the COVID pandemic had resulted in an increase in unsightly vandalism and members of the public were complaining about the lack of removal. So the chamber wanted to help people identify the best authorities to inform about where the tags were located so they could be removed quickly.
The chamber has set up a communication hub to make the reporting process easier.
Working in conjunction with Wollongong City Council and Dapto Rotary Graffiti Removal Team, all reports to the hub will be directed to the proper authorities.
Mr Johnston encouraged people who saw any graffiti on public assets such as bus stops, power poles and traffic signs between Bulli and Wollongong to inform the hub so the details could be passed on to the relevant authority.
"We all have a part to play to make our area free of this unsightly mess," he said.
Sam Bateman is heading the project as a volunteer. He approached the chamber with the idea when he arrived back in Wollongong after 15 years overseas.
"After working as a school teacher in Germany, China and the United Kingdom I returned home to Wollongong to be amazed of the amount of graffiti located in our local area. In those countries, any graffiti located would be removed quite quickly. I was disappointed when the graffiti was still there after numerous weeks. I then realised there was a lack of community involvement to let the proper authorities know of where the graffiti is."
Mr Bateman said that is what happened in other cities he has lived in. And in China there was no graffiti.
"I love my home town and I do not want visitors to our city to think of this area badly and leave with the wrong impression, this could harm our reputation."
Mr Johnston applauded Mr Bateman's initiative along with the Corrimal RSL Memorial Club which has signed on as a major partner.
Corrimal RSL chief executive Sara Watkins said 2020 had been a tough year for everyone, including the club which was forced to close its doors for months. But it still wants to support the community that supports it.
Dapto Rotary's Mick Chamberlain said it was great to see people being encouraged to report graffiti.
Anyone spotting any graffiti between Bulli and Wollongong can report it by sending an email to email@example.com or calling the council on 4227 7111.
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