Saturday, March 5, 2011

Strathfield vs Canada Bay

I was asked last week to write an opinion piece for the Strathfield Scene on graffiti. Before submitting it, I asked a few friends to eyeball it and provide feedback. One said, "Gee, you're pretty harsh on the Strathfield mayor, and you must really like the Canada Bay mayor".

Actually, no.

If the mayor of Canada Bay was doing his job properly, this blog wouldn't exist. I'd have nothing to do. The fact that I have spent the last three years running around trying to clean up the neighbourhood is a savage indictment on his administration.

The photo below shows his campaign office from his 2003 election bid. It's on Great North Road in Five Dock. It was vacant for a long time, and was also covered in graffiti for a long time. I finally contacted the mayor just before Christmas in 2008 and asked him to call the owner and get it removed (this was before Council changed their policy regarding graffiti removal). If he really cared about cleaning things up, surely he would have noticed that the building with his name plastered all over it was vandalised and an eyesore?

As for the Strathfield vs Canada Bay comparisons, we got lucky when the state government provided grants a few years ago to buy graffiti cleaning trucks. Strathfield didn't. What annoys me is that a very effect graffiti removal program was shutdown after just one year - if the state government was serious about graffiti removal, it would have provided grants to councils every year, and Strathfield would have its own truck by now - and the Strathfield area would be much cleaner.

I regularly say good things about Canada Bay council - but when I do so, I am endorsing the work of the front line staff that go out every day and clean things up.


Anonymous said...

Let's face it, Strathfield Municipality is a graffiti-scrawled unkempt dump. Their council show no initiative whatsoever in addressing this serious problem.

Not Somebody Else's Problem said...

Depends on where you go. In the residential areas, it's beautiful and clean. The shopping strips are the problem - but that's the same all through the inner west. Businesses in the shopping strips cops a great deal of graffiti - the Canada Bay strips are clean these days because council has a truck and driver that patrols up and down them regularly looking for tags to remove. Strathfield doesn't have that luxury.

If Strathfield were given the money for a truck, and they used it wisely, most of the municipality would probably be pretty clean after 6 months of sustained effort.