Graffiti in Knox

Pamorama of Windermere Reseve Tennis Club mural.

Panorama of Windermere Reserve Tennis Club mural.

Interest in graffiti as an art form is increasing within the community of Knox, Community Safety Officer from the Knox City Council, Samantha Spooner said in an interview last Friday.

“With the community embracing tattoo art, young women are interested in that as artists themselves as well in more substantial numbers and there has been a similar trend with graffiti writing and art, mural production,” said Ms Spooner.

Acting Coordinator Community Safety and Development from the Knox City Council, Lisette Pine said in the same interview, the Knox council have adopted using legal mural art to combat illegal graffiti which has been an ever present problem in the community. The mural on the tennis club wall at Windermere reserve has decreased the amount of tags on the wall.

“This tennis club wall was continuously tagged all the time… we engaged a mural artist to design a mural that was in keeping with what the pavilion was used for… since we’ve had that mural put up we’ve had about one or two tags in the past two and a half, three years,” Ms Pine said.

However, if murals were to be put up everywhere the purpose would be lost and tagging would increase, she said.

The Knox City Council doesn’t remove all graffiti. They manage graffiti on their property but encourage the community to report graffiti to their customer service team. Their website also offers graffiti management advice.

It costs Knox ratepayers approximately $170,000 annually to clean up illegal graffiti. By engaging with artist to create mural art, the community is saving thousands of dollars annually on clean up, Ms Spooner said.

Ms Pine and Ms Spooner said graffiti that impacts the community the most is offensive, defamatory, racist, sexist, foul language and particularly racial vilification that is targeted.

Constable Travis Forrest from the Rowville Police Service Area said in an interview on Tuesday, the graffiti that makes people feel most unsafe is “offensive graffiti”.

He also said “Youth are normally the ones that are targeted”. To reduce vandalism in the area, police “Target hot spots, heighten patrolling at schools in the holidays” and “make shop owners aware of the problem”.

To reduce vandalism amongst youth Constable Forrest said the difference between art and vandalism should be “implemented through school”.

19 year old, PJ Leitner was once a “tagger”. He said he started at the age of 16 to fit in with his friends and “it seemed harmless”. It was also partly out of boredom, he said. Mr Leitner stopped tagging at 18 because he realised it wasn’t worth the time or money and has found more beneficial ways to occupy himself when he’s bored.

Ms Pine, Ms Spooner and Constable Forrest all said the main reasons behind illegal graffiti are boredom, risk taking, experiential practice and sense of belonging to a group; however, most youth grow out of it.


Glen Eira Council Propose Recreational Developments for Caulfield Racecourse


Caulfield Racecourse is planning to incorporate recreational sporting fields in the centre of the racecourse according to Glen Eira Mayor, Cr. Neil Pilling.

Cr. Pilling said that as part of the new open space plan, the council wants to make use of the centre of the race track by turning it into sporting fields for recreational activities.

The centre of the racecourse could “hold ten sporting fields which are so desperately needed,” he said, especially since “we have the least amount of open space in Melbourne”. The only problem with this plan is that the land isn’t owned by the council. It is “Crown Land,” owned by the government, Cr. Pilling said.

The use of this Crown Land is determined by Crown appointed Trustees: six nominees of the Melbourne Racing Club (MRC), three Councillors of the Glen Eira City Council and six nominees of the State Government. These Trustees meet once a year in March and their discussions are withheld from the public with no minutes or annual report published.

Currently the land is being leased by the Trustees to MRC which means they control the use of the land. When Caulfield Racecourse was “originally gifted to the people in 1853 by Queen Victoria,” its purpose was to be the “land for the people,” Cr. Pilling said. This arrangement between the Trustees and MRC has made the purpose of the land almost fully commercial. Just last year it was estimated that members of the community lost fifteen million dollars from the Tabret, Cr. Pilling said.

Cr. Pilling has suggested that the development is almost certain to go ahead if the council can come to an agreement with the current horse trainer’s to relocate to a new training facility.

Caulfield Racecourse track supervisor, Warwick Smith acknowledges, “There is a shortage of recreational facilities.” However, emphasises “the centre of the racecourse will be the only free parking on race days as an apartment development has been approved for the existing car park!”



Carlton Primary School aftermath.

A young firefighter is fighting for his life after a fire at Carlton End Primary School, Carlton.

Fire fighter, Michael Jones, 25, was taken to the Royal Children’s Hospital with fifty percent of his body burned after the fire at Carlton End Primary School.

Jones is an expecting father with his child due any time soon.

“Our thoughts are now with the fire officer who risked his life to ensure the safety of students” said Mr Scollo, Principal at the Carlton school.

Station officer, William Short said the brigade were “overcome with smoke” when they arrived which resulted with two more fire officers in hospital.

The fire broke out during lunchtime in the two-story art building. “It was lucky it was lunch time as no children were attending classes at the time.” Said Chief Inspector Bob Bilby.

The brigade arrived five minutes after being notified by Mr Scollo. They began to search the building for students, evacuating 22 who were playing at the entrance.

3 students were initially unaccounted for, however, since the incident one parent reported that their child, a boy, “returned home for lunch without warning” said Mr Scollo.

The other students have still not been found, but the boy who went home said they went to the local pool. Their parents failed to answer their phones when called by Mr Scollo.

Mr Scollo informed the press that all 311 students from preschool through to Grade 6 are safe. However, the same cannot be said about the art building.

It is not clear what caused the fire but an electrical fault is suspected.