Wednesday, October 14, 2009

How slow can the wheels turn?

I conducted a graffiti survey of the Five Dock shopping area with a Council staff member last week. During that survey, we noticed graffiti on the signage outside Five Dock Public School. This is not the first time this has happened - I have reported graffiti on school property a number of times over the last few years. Or should I say, I have attempted to report graffiti on school property.

The Education Department makes it insanely difficult for members of the public to report graffiti. When we first moved into the Five Dock area, we were visited by the bloke that ran the neighbourhood watch scheme for the Five Dock Public School. He asked us to keep an eye on the school grounds, and to report anything of note. We were given the obligatory fridge magnet, and over a two year period, we saw two groups of vandals being caught by the Police in or around the school grounds.

I won't go into the convoluted process that the Education Department forces public schools to follow in order to get graffiti removed, because it is much too boring. I am so over it, when I saw this spate of graffiti, I didn't bother trying to follow it. Instead, I emailed these photos to the Minister for Education and told her to take care of it.

I sent that email on Thursday. It is now Wednesday, and the graffiti is still there.

Looks like even the Minister has problems getting the Department to undertake the exceptionally simple task of organising someone to wipe these signs with a rag and a bit of metho. I know that method works - I have cleaned these signs myself that way, and each took a minute at most.

What is perhaps more annoying is that there are staff at the school this week (even though it is school holidays). Some construction work is underway (Julia Gillard pouring our money into a large pit presumably), and staff are on site during the works. I can't understand why it is beyond one of them to walk around the school once a week looking for this sort of damage. The school is small - you can drive around it in a minute. Is it really that hard to drive around the school when arriving or departing, doing a quick survey as you go? Or do the teaching staff view this sort of things as somebody else's problem?

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