Graffiti Blasters celebrate eight years in the Macleay

Community life - 8 August 2017

Four local residents can regularly be seen patrolling public spaces across the Macleay.

Paul Phillips and his wife Evonne Phillips, Owen Welsh and Neville Robertson are a team of graffiti removal volunteers otherwise known as the Graffiti Blasters.

Armed with detergents, paint and high-pressure hoses, the group predominately remove graffiti from around the Shire, targeting public areas such as toilet blocks, sporting and playground facilities, bus shelters, laneways, road signs, electricity boxes, rubbish bins and bridges.

Support from Kempsey Shire Council as well as donations and sponsorship from local businesses cover the costs of the Graffiti Blasters well signed trailer, safety and removal equipment.

The group, who attended 109 graffiti removal jobs during 2016-17, will be celebrating eight successful years of cleaning up the Macleay this month.

Group coordinator, Paul Phillips, said he enjoys cleaning up the region with the team often working outside business hours so they don’t inconvenience the public.

“We patrol likely graffiti sites to make the removal process even faster,” he said.

“If you don’t see graffiti, then we must be doing our job right.”

Council’s Community Safety Officer, Marilyn Breen, commended the group for their generous contributions to the community.

“The team is very experienced and provide a valuable service,” she said

“What is interesting is that the over the years the group have found that they actually remove less graffiti from existing walls with murals.

“Some other councils in Australia are now covering public walls with commissioned street art to discourage illegal graffiti so perhaps if there was more public art across the shire it could act as a deterrent for unnecessary tagging or vandalism.”

Residents can report graffiti by phoning Council’s Customer Service Centre on 6566 3200

Paul Phillips and Owen Welsh beside the Graffiti Blasters trailerPaul Phillips and Owen Welsh volunteer to keep our public places free of graffiti