The State Government has announced a number of legislative changes in regard to the prevention of graffiti and the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) organised a workshop to explain how these changes would effect local government.
The workshop began with a presentation from the Department of Justice who explained that the State Government was focused on the principles of prevention, removal and enforcement. As such the legislation aims to create a number of new offences relating to graffiti, including fines for carrying graffiti implements on or near public transport and harsher penalties for perpetrators of graffiti.
A number of grants have been announced by the State Government to enable Councils and community groups to remove the presence of graffiti. The grants will be favouring projects that can demonstrate an ongoing focus on the removal of graffiti.
The Victorian Police has improved their ability to enforce crimes relating to graffiti, through the procurement of a Victoria wide database, which will categorise graffiti. The database will allow Police to match tags against perpetrators and follows the success of a localised database established for the Maroondah, Knox and Yarra Ranges region.
The new legislative changes will take effect by September 2008 and should complement the anti-graffiti policies of Maroondah City Council through ensuring closer integration with Police and State Government agencies.