Graffiti Blasters celebrate 8 years

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

Blasters: Paul Phillips and Owen Welsh volunteer to keep our public places free of graffiti.

Blasters: Paul Phillips and Owen Welsh volunteer to keep our public places free of graffiti.

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 predominantly removes graffiti from around the Shire.

They target 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 gear and removal equipment.

The group, which 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 create inconvenience for 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 Community Safety Officer, Marilyn Breen, commended the group for their generous contributions to the community. 

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

“What is interesting is that the over the years the group has 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.

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