MEMBER for Orange Andrew Gee says he hopes a new graffiti hotline will not only make it easier to notify authorities of the crime but also hasten its removal from public areas.
Mr Gee said graffiti was a “blight on community pride” and the new hotline was a step in the right direction.
“Until now there has been no single number to notify authorities about graffiti, which has caused confusion and delays in removal,’’ Mr Gee said.
“[Now] After receiving a report, hotline operators will send the information to the government agency or local council responsible for cleaning it up.”
Mr Gee said graffiti was a particular problem in parks, bus shelters and on roads.
“It’s not exclusive to any suburb although some areas do have more graffiti than others,” he said.
Mr Gee said removing graffiti was very expensive, costing Orange ratepayers thousands of dollars a year.
“It’s not only [costly to] council, but also other organisations such as Housing NSW as well as private homeowners,” he said.
“The cost of graffiti vandalism is spread across the entire community.”
Mr Gee said is was important to remove graffiti as it had a “flow-on effect on the community”.
“If you let it go it can set the tone for a community or a neighbourhood,” he said.
He said anyone who defaces property without permission had no right to call themselves a graffiti artist.
“They might like to think of themselves as artists, but they are really vandals who show no respect for other people’s property,” he said.
The number for the NSW graffiti hotline is 1800 707 125 and callers are able to remain anonymous.
It will operate from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.