MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE Wednesday 16 July 2008

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MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE Wednesday 16 July 2008 Powered By Docstoc
					MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: Wednesday 16 July 2008




                       Tough new graffiti laws now in place

Tough new graffiti laws passed late last year, which came into force on July 1, will
have implications for both residents and traders in Banyule.

The Graffiti Prevention Act 2007, which was passed by the Victorian Parliament in
November 2007, creates six new graffiti-specific offences.

Mayor Cr Wayne Phillips said: “This Act is very important for residents and traders in
Banyule. Everyone is affected by the legislation, not just young people under 18
years of age and it is important that people understand it.”

Two of the new offences relate to retailers – it is now illegal to sell a spray paint can
to a minor unless for work purposes, and it is also illegal to advertise spray paint in a
way that encourages illegal graffiti.

Cr Phillips said that Council is supporting traders to make sure they are aware of
their responsibilities and help them comply with the new laws. “We will be making
people aware of these new laws as part of our every day work, and we have
information kits available from Council for traders,” he said.

“We will be policing these laws as part of our normal duties, and if we have a report
to Council we will follow it up.”

Graffiti has always been illegal, and legally it was treated as criminal damage. These
new laws give specific penalties to acts of graffiti, for example it is illegal to graffiti on
property visible in public places without the property owner’s consent. It is also illegal
to mark graffiti that is offensive i.e. racist, even if you have consent. The maximum
penalty is two year prison term and a fine of up to $26,428.

It is also now illegal to have spray paint on or around public transport without a lawful
excuse. You may receive an on the spot fine of up to $550.

“It’s not enough to say that you don’t intend to graffiti. The only excuse for having a
can is that you use it for your work or trade (e.g. sign writer) and you will have to
prove this” Cr Phillips said.

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Communications    05973 Media Release Template   InfoVision Ref:   Last Amended:   Page 1 of 2
                                                                   15/6/2004
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Cr Phillips said the new laws have an impact on young people in Banyule. As part of
the new laws, police have now great search seizure powers and have expanded
special search powers to search anyone 14 or over who is on or near to public
transport for a spray paint cans.

Police can also search without a warrant if they have a reasonable suspicion that
someone has committed or is about to commit a graffiti offence.

Cr Phillips said that Banyule Council will be continuing to work with young people on
the issue of graffiti. “As part of our Graffiti Management Strategy 2005-07, we offer a
range of legal opportunities to young people who are involved in graffiti culture,” he
said.

These include:
   • Traffic Graffix, which uses VicRoads Traffic Signal Boxes as the canvas for
       community art; and
   • Street Art program which engages young people who graffiti in legal art
       projects, offering opportunities to exhibit work and skills training

Banyule Council Community Safety Officer Bec Olsen said: “Engaging young people
through their passion allows them to explore with Council a wide range of legal
opportunities i.e. airbrush skill development programs, legal exhibitions and public
murals.”

Ms Olsen said that there were also resources available for young people who needed
legal advice relating to the new graffiti laws. Youthlaw, the Young People’s Legal
Rights Centre, has a graffiti laws fact sheet available on their website
www.youthlaw.asn.au.


                                          - End-


Contact Details:
For further information contact: Banyule Council Community Safety Officer Bec Olsen
on 9457 9935.




Communications   05973 Media Release Template   InfoVision Ref:   Last Amended:   Page 2 of 2
                                                                  15/6/2004

				
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Description: MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE Wednesday 16 July 2008