Shane Fitzsimmons Leads Charge For Graffiti Removal Day 2021
On February 8th, 2021, NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman unveiled work by renowned street artist Sid Tapia, who has painted the Erskineville Railway Station mural to pay tribute to Resilience NSW Commissioner Fitzsimmons, and the brave efforts of the RFS.
“Our volunteer firies and other emergency services showed remarkable bravery in battling the ferocious 2019/20 bushfires that ravaged NSW. Their heroism and the leadership of their Commissioner is very deserving of recognition,” Mr Speakman said.
“COVID-19 has reminded us of the importance of our homes and taking pride in our precious neighbourhoods. Graffiti Removal Day is the time to pick up a brush and reconnect with your local community in a COVID safe way.”
In Council's Meeting Agenda an Item lists a Response to Councillor De Luca OAM's query on the Cost of Vandalism on Public Buildings in Narrabeen and Pittwater Wards.
Council's staff estimated that the removal costs for these wards from between January 1st 2016 to January 15th 2021 was $350, 000 for the Narrabeen ward and $500,000 for Pittwater. The 'tagged' vandalism for the FY18/19 was $57, 092 for Narrabeen and $69, 286 for Pittwater.
Council's records indicate that the most frequently vandalised buildings ion the Narrabeen ward are the St Matthews Farm sport amenities at Cromer and the Tramshed public amenities at Narrabeen.
In Pittwater it is the Avalon Beach SLSC and Mona Vale Kitchener public amenities that are most frequently targeted.
Clearly a little less 'toilet humour' and more murals alike that recently completed at Mona Vale would not go astray around here:
Mural taking shape at Mona Vale in August 2020 - photo by Selena Griffith.
Graffiti Removal Day calls for people to show pride in their local community by volunteering to remove graffiti in compliance with COVID safe guidelines.
Illegal graffiti costs the State more than $300 million in clean-up expenses each year.
Commissioner Fitzsimmons, the 2021 NSW Australian of the Year, said he was humbled by the artwork, and encouraged people across NSW to volunteer for Graffiti Removal Day on Sunday 28 March 2021.
“Volunteers are at the heart of Australian communities. I will forever be grateful to the volunteers who stood up to be counted during the worst bushfire season we’ve ever had. We saw courage and commitment from volunteers who continually put the wellbeing of their community before themselves,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.
“2020 was a year like no other and many are still dealing with the impacts of drought, bushfires, floods and storms, and COVID-19. In the face of these challenges, it is our community spirit that empowers us to rebuild, recover and begin to heal.”
Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock said she could not think of someone more worthy of this lasting tribute.
“There is universal respect for former Commissioner Fitzsimmons, particularly down in my community on the South Coast who experienced first-hand the devastating effects of the bushfires last summer,” Mrs Hancock said.
“I encourage councils and community groups across the State to roll up their sleeves and get involved in this worthwhile event.”
Graffiti Removal Day Chairman Bob Aitken said this year up to 3,000 volunteers are expected to remove illegal graffiti from approximately 600 sites around NSW.
“Since we began in 2012, volunteers have removed more than 141,000sqm of graffiti, saving the community $10.4 million,” Mr Aitken said.
People can volunteer or nominate a clean-up site at https://graffitiremovalday.org.au/
Also - Graffiti Removal Day: Here's your chance to win $1,000 just for being creative! Murals are one of the best ways to combat illegal tagging, and once again we are running a mural competition as part of Graffiti Removal Day. For more information on how to enter contact us via https://bit.ly/33l94qV or on 1300 665 310.
Commissioner Fitzsimmons, Sid, and the Hon Mark Speakman. Below - the boys!, including current Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service, Rob Rogers. Photos courtesy NSW Gov. - Communities & Justice