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Media Release
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministers
for the Environment, Sport, Territories
and Local Government

$200 Million National Clean-Up Bill

4 September 1996

WA Senator Ian Campbell said today that graffiti was costing Australians an estimated $200 million dollars per annum.

Senator Campbell, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment was speaking at the First National Conference on Graffiti Control in Perth today.

"This $200 million dollar estimate does not even include the cost of various forms of law enforcement and prosecutions," Senator Campbell said.

The figure was calculated on a per capita basis using figures recently released by the Western Australian Court Government. Comparative figures from other States are not available.

"These figures highlight the problem, but the financial impact falls hardest on many who can't afford it," Senator Campbell said.

"Graffiti on the back fence of a pensioner's house makes them worried for their own safety, and it has a major impact on a tight household budget. Whilst graffiti on the walls of small business also hits hard on a sector of our community that would rather be spending the money on investing in growth and jobs than addressing these acts of vandalism."

"Graffiti is a national problem, however, very little cooperation occurs between the States and Territories."

"Even our national capital is fighting an enormous graffiti problem with the National Capital Authority spending $100,000 last financial year to remove graffiti from structures within the Parliamentary Triangle."

Senator Campbell said that it was a sobering thought that it cost more to remove graffiti from within the Parliamentary Triangle than the estimated cost of damages and the looting which occurred during the recent violent protest outside Parliament House.

"By hosting this conference, the Western Australian Government has taken an enormous step towards establishing a national network that will encourage the exchange of data and dialogue," Senator Campbell said.

"The establishment of an Internet homepage would also allow individual States, Territories, Councils and communities across Australia to access the most up-to-date information on graffiti available."

Senator Campbell encouraged other State and Territory Governments to follow Western Australia's lead by hosting national conferences annually.

"With the Sydney 2000 Olympics just around the corner, we as a nation, have the opportunity to set ourselves a target for graffiti removal."

"The 2000 Olympics will provide an excellent opportunity to harness community goodwill and to present an image to the rest of the world that we can all be proud of," Senator Campbell concluded.

For further information, please contact Mark Elliot on 06 277 3955

Commonwealth of Australia