Sunday, October 26, 2008

The last post

This will be my last post for a while.  Not because I am giving up, but because I don't think I can add much value by continuing to repeat the same thing again and again and again.  

I started this blog with a couple of aims in mind.  One was to create a collection of photographic evidence that would be of assistance when arguing certain points with people or organisations.  I think if anyone was to stand up and say that we don't have a problem with vandalism on our electrical infrastructure for instance, they'd be laughed out of the building after viewing this blog.  Frankly, I didn't think we had much of a problem until I started taking photos and actually looking, and if it helps to change the minds of a few policy makers, then it's been worth the effort.

My second aim was to provide some examples of correspondence that other people could copy if they so wished.  Most people have very limited contact with government, and they don't know where to start.  I hope I've provided a few clues in that area.  If you want to copy any or all of my letters, go right ahead.  You wouldn't be the first - a few people have emailed me to say that they've found them to be quite useful.  

My third aim was to provide some backup evidence when communicating with an organisation, like Sydney Water.  You can only say so much in a letter.  A series of online colour photos and maps says so much more.   

My fourth aim was to show others that this sort of thing ain't that difficult.  We're getting all sorts of rubbish from the US at the moment about "Hope and change" - meaningless waffle from the greatest windbag to walk the earth.  It's no use endlessly talking about change - if you don't like something, you can change it with a few phone calls or the odd letter.  This blog is a call to action, if you like.  Don't whine about "the government hasn't done this and the government hasn't done that" if you haven't actually bothered to ask the government to do something for you.  

That said, I don't see the government as a magic cure-all for our problems.  It just happens that most of the problems that I've blogged about here relate to government owned infrastructure, or to issues that are the domain of government.  The consensus view in NSW at the moment is that our state government is an unmitigated disaster, and everything it touches turns to crud.  If you accept that view at the macro level, then you should accept the proposition that the organs of government are continually failing at a micro level.  That means that some things that our agencies are doing are not being done well - if they were performing admirably, then we would not have seen huge swings at the recent by-elections.  

If anyone from RailCorp or Energy Australia or Sydney Water is reading this and thinking, "this guy is an idiot - we are doing a wonderful job", then I have this to say - the judgement that the electorate cast at the recent by-elections was as much a vote on your performance as a vote on the performance of the state government.  Some of you may be doing an incredibly good job, but you're being let down by some non-performers, or some terrible policy that your Minister has lumped you with.

I also wanted to give some confidence to those that are skeptical of the value of contacting large organisations, like Energy Australia.  I have heard over and over again that it is not worth your time and effort to chase up a large organisation, because they'll just ignore the little guy.

That is not true - most of the time.  I think this blog proves that most big organisations are responsive in some way.  So long as you are polite and rational and asking for something sensible, you will probably get what you want in the end.

I did not set out to write an anti-graffiti blog.  I thought I'd be writing about pot holes and bent street signs and uncollected rubbish and blocked drains.  The graffiti thing just happened because I found so much of it when I went looking for the pot holes and blocked drains.  I don't know what the answer is when it comes to graffiti, but I have discovered this - some organisations are tackling it seriously, and others have stuck their heads in the sand and appear to be hoping that it all will just go away.  It won't.  I believe that if organisations are being hit by graffiti on a regular basis, then they need to have a systematic approach to detecting it and getting rid of it quickly.  

Let me repeat the key words in that sentence - systematic, detection and quickly.

My experience over the last few months is that almost every organisation that I have dealt with is failing to some degree at one or all of these three elements.

The best performer is Canada Bay Council.  The only place where I think they can do better is with detection, and they are improving in that area all the time.  They care, so they are putting the effort into self-improvement.  They also appear to be the only organisation that is putting some effort into doing a better job.

Energy Australia is reasonably quick to remove graffiti, but it is hopeless when it comes to detection and there appears to be no desire to take a systematic approach.  The Education Department, via our state schools, is in the same boat.

Sydney Water are a shocker on all three counts, as are Telstra and Australia Post.  

We don't have to put up with things the way they are.  Switzerland didn't get to be the way it is through its citizens sitting back and not giving a bugger or taking an interest in making things better.  At the other end of the spectrum is Somalia, a prime example of people not wanting to work together for the common good.  What would you prefer Sydney to look like - Switzerland or Somalia?  The path that we take is the sum of the actions of millions of citizens - are you willing to contribute a small amount of your time and effort in order to make your little bit of this city a nicer place, or are you content to let it all go to hell?

I can only do so much.  The rest is up to you.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Should schools care about graffiti?

This post is about Energy Australia kiosk 2729, which is opposite Concord High School.  I've written to the school in an attempt to get them to take some ownership of this kiosk (which means making a phone call to Energy Australia every now and then when it gets vandalised).  In my view, schools should be doing their utmost to maintain a graffiti-free environment, because if it is not removed quickly, kids will get the impression that no one cares about it, and it is therefore ok to do it.

I also take the view that there is little point in keeping a school clear of graffiti and then not giving a bugger about the surrounding environment.  I go past this spot from time to time when school has finished for the day, and see kids walking past all sorts of vandalised structures on their way home or to the bus stop.  Is there much point in giving them an anti-graffiti lecture, when if they look through the fence of their school, they see something like this staring at them from across the road?

Energy Australia and The Department of Education are both members of a government anti-graffiti taskforce, and they're supposed to be co-ordinating their anti-graffiti strategies and campaigns.  When I see things like the above kiosk outside a school, I wonder whether the anti-graffiti taskforce has met even once since it was setup in 2006, because they don't seem to be co-ordinating much of anything.

Anyone for a round of vandalism?

This water tank is on the ground of the Barnwell Park golf course in Canada Bay, and it's clearly visible to all the cars driving past on Lyons Road, which is a main road around here.  The course is owned by Canada Bay Council, so I am going to have a go at reporting it via the council's new web reporting system.

Taking care of the pensioners

This rather well used bus stop is outside Concord Hospital.  Whenever I go past it, the only people waiting for a bus appear to be those too old to drive - pensioners.  And this is how we treat them - a filthy, vandalised bus shelter that I wouldn't use to house a dog.  

Would you want to wait here for a bus on a dark night?  I wouldn't.

I've reported this to Canada Bay Council, but I realised today that there are two bus stops at the hospital, and the other one is pristine.  I hope they get the right one.

My beef here as usual is with Sydney Buses.  They'll state that bus stops are not their problem - they belong to councils.  However, I didn't realise that until I started trying to get them cleaned up, and I've been catching buses on and off for years.  As far as I am concerned, if I am waiting at a bus stop to be collected by a bus, then that bus stop is the responsibility of the bus company.  It might not be in a legal sense, but if the bus company had an ounce of common sense, they'd realise that crap looking bus shelters give them a crap looking image.  All Sydney Buses has to do is what I have done - ring up the responsible council and let them know.  Given that dozens of buses, driven by dozens of drivers, pull up at this stop every day of the week, you'd think that one of them would have the gumption to get the ball rolling.

This next photo is of a spacker that I spotted walking barefoot down the middle of the road outside Concord Hospital.  The guy was clearly of his nut, and it was only a bit after 9am.  

As for his dress sense, with the baggy trousers, bandana and enormous pirate-like ear ring, let me just say that watching "The fast and the furious" too many times can do terrible things to a person's mind.

Displaying a small amount of energy

Energy Australia (or their infrastructure arm, Eneserve) are making some inroads into painting the 15 or so green "kiosks" that I've reported over the last few weeks.  This is one of them.

This one is just around the corner, and it's still waiting to be done - or it's been done and hit again.  The inexplicable thing is that there is another kiosk about 50m from the one in the above photo, and although I have not reported it, they've left it covered in graffiti.  You really have to wonder about the mentality of people that turn up to remove graffiti, drive straight past another example of it and just ignore it.  

There might be a number of reasons for this.

They could be half-blind.

They might be on very strict instructions from management to only do the work on their work orders, and not to deviate under any circumstances to paint any other kiosks (for safety reasons or whatever).

They're using contractors, and the contractors will only paint those items that are on their work order.  (If I was a contractor though, engaged to paint vandalised kiosks, I'd be reporting every one that I saw in order to generate a bit more work).

I would have thought by now that a manager at Energy Australia would have looked at the stats coming through and thought, "Gee, we seem to have a problem with vandalised kiosks in this area.  Maybe I'll look into it and see if there are any that have been missed".  In other words, taking a systematic look at the problem.  These people should be trained to systematically look at safety hazards - you don't want the same problem to kill people on a repeat basis.  If they applied the same ideas to analysing graffiti, we might have these kiosks cleaned up much more quickly, and without the need for me to continually report them.

The next photos are of a Sydney Water pumping facility of some sort in Concord - it was finally cleaned up this week.  My fifth and final contact with them seems to have done the trick.  Instead of reporting it via their web site (again), I wrote to the Managing Director (letter below).

Whoever has done the job this time has bothered to replace the safety warning stickers on this equipment cabinet - good.

This photo provides a bit of context - that road on the right is Concord Rd, and it's a busy road that's 3 lanes in each directions.  It's not like this pumping station is hidden out of the way - it's right next to a busy road that is passed by tens of thousands of people each day.  It should not have been that hard to find.

It looks like the RTA has also come along and painted over some graffiti on the base of this pole.

Dr Kerry Schott
Managing Director
Sydney Water
PO Box 53
Sydney South NSW 1235

16 October 2008


Dear Dr Schott 

Removal of graffiti from pumping station 94 in Concord 

Since July this year, I have contacted Sydney Water on four separate occasions requesting that graffiti be removed from pumping station number 94 on Concord Road.  I have taken photographs of the pumping station every time I have been in the area, and posted them online.  Some of them are available at: 

The reference number for my original report filed on 18 July is 080718-000104.  I logged further requests on or around 10 August, 27 August and 25 September because the earlier reports were closed without any action being taken. 

Since July, the public toilets adjacent to your pumping station have been vandalised to a similar extent, yet Canada Bay Council managed to have a crew on site within a few days, and to have their asset cleaned within an hour.  

To say the least, I am less than impressed with the response of Sydney Water to date, which is why I am writing to you directly.  

Please arrange to have the graffiti removed from pumping station 94. 

Yours sincerely


If all else fails, hit the person at the top.  I hope Dr Schott is absolutely mortified at the lackadaisical response from her organisation.

Come to Sydney Olympic Park - and wreck it

The Victoria Avenue entrance to Sydney Olympic Park (or Bicentennial Park as it is also known) goes through a subway under a motorway.  When I went through it this week, the walls of the subway had large graffiti murals sprayed on them.  As did the gates to the park, which are closed nightly.

There are two odd looking sculptures out the front, and both of them had graffiti around the base.

Some of the signage just inside the gates was unreadable because the removal of graffiti had also removed all the text and maps!

A few examples of the stuff sprayed in the subway.

One of the signs just inside the park.

The good news is all this has been reported.  As I went through the park, I kept an eye out for an official looking office building, and when I found one, I went up to the front desk and let them know about it.  It turns out that the office that I went to was the wrong one - it was some sort of parklands organisation that rents space from the Sydney Olympic Park Authority, but the woman I spoke to didn't like the idea of graffiti within the park anymore than I did, so she said, "I know just who to report this to", and she went off to ring them up.

The bad news is that all this graffiti was sprayed around the front gate - including on the front gate - and someone from the Park Authority opens and closes those gates every day.  My question is this - had they noticed the graffiti, and if they had, did they bother to report it?  

I suspect that the answer is "no", otherwise that graffiti would not have been there when I went past.

The other bad news is that a horticultural contractor was working about 50 metres from this graffiti - you could easily see it from where they parked their vehicles - and it appeared that none of them viewed it as their problem.  I have seen that company in that location before - they take care of the garden beds at the BBQ area near the entrance to the park.  That's the problem with contractors who are brought in to do a specific job - they only care about what they are there to take care of, and don't take a holistic view of the park - which is an enormous shame.  

Friday, October 24, 2008

Have you done good today?

I reported this Energy Australia kiosk two weeks ago - didn't take them long to clean it up.

I reported this one about the same time - it has also been cleaned up.  That's two down, about 30 to go.

I don't think I had anything to do with this wall next to the Telstra exchange in Five Dock being painted - yet again.  I think Council now realises that this wall is a prime target, and they're re-doing it on a regular basis.

Note that Council is not allowed to touch Energy Australia property, so the green kiosk at the end of the street remains a vandalised mess.  Pity the whole lot couldn't have been cleaned up in one go.

I popped into this Devine real estate agency a few weeks back and suggested that they report the vandalised RTA equipment cabinet outside their office.  They must have taken my advice, because when I went past today, there was no graffiti on it.  Another equipment cabinet that belongs to someone else that also backs onto their property has also been cleaned up.  I hope Devine has learned something positive from this experience.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Trolls under the bridge

These photos were taken underneath the City West Link where it crosses the Hawthorne Canal in Haberfield.  These concrete panels were repainted by the RTA last month, but the trolls that collect under this bridge have been very busy of late.  These panels have gone from perfectly clean to covered in tags in just a few weeks.

Note that there is not a single item that would merit the slightest bit of artistic attention.  There are no interesting murals, or quirky lettering designs in multiple colours - it is just some goose with a can of paint spraying an unintelligible tag again and again and again.  The repetitive behaviour of tag spraying makes me wonder whether most of these kids are suffering from a form of autism.  They certainly lack artistic talent.

Here is how easy it is to report this sort of thing to the RTA.  You go to the RTA website - - and click on the "contact us" link.  That will open up the web form below. There are only a few fields to fill in, so it only takes a minute or two to let them know about some graffiti that needs cleaning up.  On most occasions, someone from the RTA customer contact area will send an email after the work has been done - that might be a month or two down the track, but they are pretty good at following up on any reports submitted via the web.

Your crash barrier is my canvas

These concrete barriers have been put up by either the RTA or Council to stop cars from colliding head on at corners like this - impatient drivers put their foot down way too much, and I have seen one end up on the footpath at this spot.  

Given that it's such a dangerous spot for cars, what sort of idiots would run out onto the road and spray graffiti on the barriers?  These were painted a few weeks back, and already tags are reappearing.

I am intrigued though as to why these barriers attract graffiti.  This is an area of high net worth - a house around this spot will cost you a million dollars or more.  There are no schools nearby, there are no skate ramps.  The Bay Run is not an obvious attractant for teenagers with something to prove.  I can understand graffiti appearing near skate ramps, or under freeways (which are great place for teenagers to hang out and be naughty), but on a wide open stretch of the Bay Run, which is really only popular with people over 30 who are walking, running or ricing for fitness?  It just doesn't fit.

Car today, gone tomorrow

I blogged last week about the mess left behind after a car was rear-ended near this spot on Lilyfield Rd.  The car has obviously gone, and the RTA or Leichhardt Council have been past and removed most of the broken glass and bits of bumper and so on that were left behind.  

As tow truck drivers are paid to take a car away, they shouldn't be paid unless they take all the car away - that means sweeping up and removing every bit of broken headlight, tail light, cracked bumper and so on.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Who is really on your side?

I have been blogging here for several months about all sorts of things that generally contribute to our city looking rundown and the worse for wear.  Although I didn't set out at the beginning to run a lot of material on graffiti, that's the way it's worked out - because there is an awful lot of graffiti out there, and whilst some people are doing a lot about it, others are doing stuff all.

I did a simple Google search today and found two very interesting snippets from Hansard:

The first was an attempt back in 2003 to give Councils more power to order the removal of graffiti from the assets of public authorities, or to give them the power to do it themselves.  

Here is a quote lifted directly from that Hansard link:

To revisit the intent of the bill, the aim is to amend the Local Government Act 1993 in relation to the powers of local councils to remove graffiti on property owned or occupied by public authorities. It will amend the Act to enable a local council to recover from a public authority expenses incurred by the council for the removal of graffiti from property owned or occupied by a public authority; and to order the removal of graffiti from property owned or occupied by a public authority. The provisions of the bill will apply where graffiti is visible from a public place, the public authority does not agree to have the graffiti removed, and the graffiti removal work cannot be carried out from a public place. In addition, failure to comply with an order will be an offence.

Councils express great frustration about the time taken to remove graffiti from structures over which they have no power. Many substations, particularly the large green substations, and other public authority property, are covered with graffiti and this eyesore is present on the facilities for an extended time. Councils that have strict graffiti policies, as many do, want to have the offending graffiti removed. Such removal is not the core business of the authority. The authority may eventually remove it, but it is usually not a priority.

If you can be bothered to spend 15 minutes flicking through the history of my blog postings, you'll find post after post that expresses exactly the same sentiments.  Our Council has a good record on graffiti removal, but it is let down by the likes of Telstra, Australia Post, Energy Australia, Sydney Water and RailCorp.

Here is another quote:

I am also concerned that the bill undermines the strong partnerships between local councils, public authorities and the State Government that are already in place as a result of the Government's integrated approach to graffiti management and prevention.

Strong partnerships?  That is pure fantasy.

The Member for Strathfield, who is a government MP, had this to say:

It has been demonstrated that one of the most effective means of deterring graffiti is to remove it as soon as possible, preferably within 48 hours of it appearing.

That's a fine sentiment - except that the authorities that the government controls, such as Energy Australia, RailCorp and Sydney Water don't share it.

Our local MP, Angela D'Amore, voted against the bill.

There was a more recent motion in Parliament earlier this year in relation to graffiti, led by our local MP, Angela D'Amore.

Ms ANGELA D'AMORE (Drummoyne) [3.34 p.m.]: I move:

            That this House:

(1) condemns the policy vandal, the shadow Attorney General, for his outrageous claims concerning graffiti;

(2) calls on the Leader of the Opposition to either endorse or sack his shadow Minister; and

(3) congratulates the Iemma Government on effective and considered initiatives to reduce graffiti.

Graffiti is a difficult crime to tackle. It is a clandestine activity committed in the dead of the night and in hidden-away places. Accordingly, although our hardworking police charged more than 12,000 people with property damage offences in 2006, identifying and tracking down offenders can be a difficult task. It is therefore necessary to use a range of different strategies. That is why the Government has a comprehensive plan for dealing with the problem, which includes putting in place tough laws to deter vandals; restricting access to spray-paint cans by requiring retailers to keep their stocks in locked display cabinets, with fines for sales to juveniles; and establishing an Anti-Graffiti Action Team comprising major government agencies, public utilities and industry representatives to lead the development and implementation of anti-graffiti policies.

To start with, those 12,000 people were charged with "malicious damage" offenses, which is not  the same as graffiti.  Scratching the paint on a car with a coin is malicious damage.  Throwing a brick through a window is malicious damage.  Snapping off car aerials is malicious damage.  Setting fire to a rubbish bin is malicious damage.  An awful lot of malicious damage goes on, and a lot of people are arrested for it.  But as I have blogged earlier, only a bit over 100 people per year actually end up in court charged with graffiti related offenses - not 12,000. 

Note that D'Amore said that "12,000 were charged with property damage offenses", which means that she can't be accused of misleading Parliament, for that is strictly true.  But it has little to do with busting people for graffiti.  She might as well have said that 50,000 people were charged with drink driving - which might be true, but it is also irrelevant.

She goes on:

Let us suppose for a minute that his scheme works. The costs of the scheme to offer rewards of up to $2,500 to whoever reports graffiti would blow out to monumental levels. In fact, last year there were 10,265 proven charges and on that figure we have costed a rewards scheme, paid by taxpayers, at $25.7 million. Instead that money could be applied to resourcing our police, councils and community groups. The member for Epping has suggested that we use $25.7 million of taxpayers' money to fund a program that may not work.

As I noted before, D'Amore has confused the charges for malicious damage with those for graffiti.  The proposal here was to pay for information that leads to vandals who apply graffiti being charged, not vandals who put a brick through a shopfront window.

Given that a bit over 100 people were charged with graffiti related offenses over the last 2 years, if the maximum of $2,500 was paid out per person charged, then my reading is that it would cost $250,000 to run this scheme per year, not $25 million - and $250,000 is less than our state government has spent on graffiti removal schemes.

Personally, I think that paying $2,500 is madness.  Many of the vandals appear to be high school kids.  I have one son in that age group, and he gives me the impression that he knows who the vandals are at his school.  I reckon he'd be dead chuffed to be paid $250 to cough up some information - even $100 at that age would probably do the trick.  At say $250 per piece of useful information, 1,000 vandals could be charged each year for a trivial outlay of $250,000 - which is a 10-fold increase on the numbers being charged today.

As I blogged yesterday, given that Angela D'Amore's office is surrounded by commercial premises that are hit repeatedly with graffiti, I don't think she has much idea of the scale of the problem or how to deal with it.  At the very least, I'd expect her to be doing what I am doing - encouraging business owners in her near vicinity to clean up their premises, and calling the Council to deal with graffiti on publicly owned assets - in other words, acting as a publicly spirited individual.

Ms ANGELA D'AMORE: The member for Castle Hill referred to my comments on graffiti. Any commander you speak to will tell you that one of the crime prevention strategies with graffiti is to actually report it and remove it within 24 hours. A number of councils around the State would support those comments. I am glad that he put those comments on the record again because many people would agree with them. I refer to the grants outlined by the member for Mulgoa for her local area. What this shows is that the State Government is looking at proactive strategies in providing grants to our local community via our councils to make sure that we are patrolling sites and removing graffiti quickly, and we are running education campaigns throughout our community showing when to report graffiti, how to report it, and to take pictures.

These are successful and extremely effective programs.

I beg to differ.  As I noted earlier, the worst offenders when it comes to removing graffiti in a timely fashion are government authorities, including state government authorities.  If the state government was to put its money where its mouth is, it would direct those authorities to remove graffiti within 24 hours, as suggested by our local MP.

As for patrolling sites, I don't think the Council needs to have staff out patrolling the length and breadth of the city area each day looking for graffiti.  Instead, citizens with a bit of public spirit should be phoning problems in as they see them.  Angela D'Amore has graffiti all around her office, yet I doubt she (or her staff) have ever phoned in a single instance of it.

Angela D'Amore MP and her commitment to graffiti removal

I am going to write a much longer post on this topic when I have some time, but consider this spot, which is an empty shop opposite our local MP's electoral office.  Here is the graffiti:

And this is where her office is by comparison.  

Now consider why Labor got hammered at the by-elections over the weekend.

Substation 4901

Another in an ever growing list of defaced Energy Australia kiosks.  

Six wins and one fail

A good day today (although not all this was fixed this week).  I reported this playground a month or two ago - it was quickly cleaned by Council, and has remained in that state ever since.  It shows that vandalism can sometimes be a random or one off event, rather than a steady stream of attacks.  In this case, the park has been cleaned up, and has been graffiti-free since.  It shows that it is worth removing graffiti, because then residents can enjoy (in this instance) a graffiti-free park for months on end.

Five Dock Park - a crew went through today and painted over the graffiti on all the park furniture.  All the benches had a "wet paint" sign like this one on them.

Sydney Water have replaced the corroded vent pipe with a brand new, green pipe.  It blended in so well, I walked straight past it before thinking about going back and looking for it.

Graffiti has been removed from the side of the Early Childhood Centre.

The gate to this playground has been repaired - and I completely forgot about reporting it.  Either someone is reading this blog, or a sharp-eyed Council employee has noticed it and fixed it.

The Council graffiti crew in action again around the grandstand in Five Dock Park.  After the mess that was made the previous weekend, I presume Council management thought that it would be a good idea to have staff back in the park on the first day after the weekend to see if any damage needed attending to.  Now that's the forward thinking, proactive stuff that Australia Post should be thinking about.

The one fail was on Crane St, near Concord High School.  On the weekend, the concrete barriers dividing Crane St were repainted and clean.  Today, they had already been hit with a few tags.  Council are just going to have to paint and paint and paint those barriers until the little sods give up and find something better to do - like train surfing.

Some letter boxes are being cleaned

Back on 11 August, I blogged about this post-box - how it once had graffiti, had been cleaned, and then it had been hit again.

When I went past today, it was clean again.

Whilst I can appreciate that Australia Post has a huge number of post-boxes (14,000 or so), I doubt that at this moment, every single one of them in every corner of Australia has been vandalised.  I bet if you went to some suburbs, not a single one would be touched, whilst around here, most of them have been hit.  Australia Post probably has a problem in some locations - if they did a bit of data mining and mapped the problem areas, they might find that they are few and far between, and that a small number of post-boxes account for the majority of the graffiti (the old 80:20 rule).

That said, given that Australia Post staff visit their post-boxes every working day, I am at a loss as to why they are unable to target the "problem" post-boxes with an aggressive campaign of cleaning them.  

Cintra Park

Cintra Park is one of our local tennis centres.  I'm going to be seeing a lot more of it in the near future, as we have just enrolled one of the kids there for lessons.  

The car park was a complete mess today - it looked like a fly-tipper had dumped a trailer load of rubbish and fled.  The mound of rubbish below was the packaging from a rather large fridge.  

It also looked like a rubbish bin worth of drink bottles and other canteen cast-offs had been dumped into the car park.

Substation 3552

Another in a long series of defaced Energy Australia "kiosks" around the inner west.

There will come a day when instead of waiting for citizens to phone in vandalism, Energy Australia will start going out and looking for it - and taking care of it quickly before anyone needs to complain about it.

I hope to live to see that day.

Substation K1573

This substation, or kiosk, has gone from having one graffiti tag on it to suddenly having a swag.  One tag attracts lots more. Ref 500059339.

More success

The area around Concord High School attracts a reasonable amount of graffiti, including the concrete barriers down the middle of Crane St, just down the hill from the school. Crane St is a busy road, and the barriers have been put on a particularly nasty corner to stop cars that are speeding down the hill from losing it and crossing into traffic coming the other way around the corner.

The barriers themselves are a target for graffiti. I rang Council about two weeks ago to let them know about it, and when I went past yesterday, all he graffiti had been painted over. I didn't know who to call - whether it was an RTA problem or a Council problem, but the Council has ensured that it has been taken care of.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Edwards Park, Concord

There are two playgrounds in Edwards Park - one for teenagers (it's called "teenrager") and one for the little kiddies.  They're about 30 metres apart, and both are showing different levels of vandalism and neglect.

Almost every flat surface, horizontal and vertical, at the teenrager playground has been defaced with paint or texta.

Someone has a fondness for drawing cocks.  There are a few around.

The odd beer bottle has been smashed on some of the equipment, and there were a few pizza boxes lying around today, indicating a recent late night feast for some local youngsters.

There are rubbish bins nearby - no more than 50 metres from either playground, but the presence of pizza boxes and KFC wrappers showed the local youngsters have a disinclination to walk their purchases to the bin once they are finished with them.

Consider the KFC box that I found.  The nearest KFC outlet is perhaps 2 kilometres away.  Whoever left the rubbish in the playground had to drive to the KFC store, buy some food, drive to the park, and then walk across around 100 metres of grass before sitting down to dinner.  That takes a reasonable amount of effort.  If someone is that committed to getting a feed of fried chicken, why do they suddenly run out of energy after they have consumed about 10,000 calories of chips, soft drink and chook?  They still have to drag themselves back across 100 metres of grass, and then drive home - would it be too much to ask them to take a slight detour in order to deposit the remains of their dinner in the nearest bin?

I just don't understand how some people's thought processes work.  Assuming they think at all.