I was surprised to see a "new kid in town" today - a private graffiti removal services truck parked in Concord. I stopped and had a quick chat with the bloke doing the cleanup - he said that the RTA had contracted the work to Downer, who had then subcontracted it to his company. He was painting all the sound barriers for the RTA.
This is undoubtedly a good thing. The barriers were a mess, presenting an unappetising slew of graffiti for 100 metres or so, visible to thousands of passing cars each day.
I'll wait before I give the RTA a gold star for a job well done, since I want to see how the RTA reacts when the tagging starts again. Will they get rid of any tags quickly as they appear, or will they wait two years for the wall to become an utter disaster again, before initiating a major project to repaint the lot?
As for the disjointed effort, I suppose we will find that the managers that take care of the sound barriers work in one silo at the RTA, and those that manage the traffic lights work in another silo, and they never communicate with each other (this is not atypical of a large organisation, private or public). The pole in the foreground is of course an RTA traffic light, which was not being touched (as far as I could see).
Almost every light pole along this stretch of road is also tagged, and the lights are generally the responsibility of Energy Australia. Although the RTA and Energy Australia both sit on a government Graffiti Task Force, I guess it was too much to ask for them to coordinate their approach to this location, and to have all the RTA and Energy Australia assets cleaned in the one go. We can only hope that such a thing will come to pass in our lifetime.