Money stripped from criminals under federal laws will be used to combat graffiti in the Blue Mountains.
Blue Mountains City Council (BMCC) has received $90,000 from the federal Proceeds of Crime Fund to work in partnership with Mountains Youth Services Teams (MYST) helping young artists produce major public works across the area over the next two years.
The project aims to place the artworks on walls currently being targeted by vandals for graffiti tagging.
“The project will capitalise on the strong success and community support of the Blue Mountains Street Art Collaborative,” a BMCC spokeswoman said.
“However, unlike the former Street Art Collaborative, this project will support local young artists to take the next steps toward becoming professional artists, with a strong focus on artistic skill development, designing artworks in accordance with a formal brief, legal art awareness and public engagement.
“The project aims to produce nine major public works of art over the two year period of grant funding.
“A public art advisory panel will be established to provide consultation and support to the project and its young artists.
“BMCC is yet to identify suitable public sites for the artworks, however it is intended that artworks will be placed on walls that attract graffiti tagging as an effective and proven deterrent and also as a contribution to public art in the city.”
Labor Senator Doug Cameron said the local project would make a “big difference” in the area.
“The funding will be used to engage young artists to improve highly vandalised walls in town centres,” Senator Cameron said in a statement.
“I congratulate Blue Mountains City Council and their partner organisation Mountains Youth Services Team for receiving this funding and look forward to the project being implemented.”
The funding was also welcomed by Deputy Mayor Mark Greenhill, who promised a summit on graffiti during the 2008 local government elections.
“We delivered, and from the summit sprang the strategy of supporting community groups to take action with the provision of mobile cleaning kits,” he said. “[This grant] is a major shot in the arm for council’s ongoing fight against graffiti.”
Labor Macquarie spokesperson Susan Templeman said the council had “a great track record on finding innovative approaches to tackling this issue”, and she was “thrilled they will be able to build on the work they have done with MYST”.