A council in outer Melbourne is threatening VicRoads with a war of words — printed in large font across three road signs, specifically — if the traffic authority doesn’t start removing graffiti along the local freeway.
The City of Casey in Melbourne’s south-east will invest $12,000 to print signs advertising VicRoads’ phone number along the Monash Freeway in an effort to shame the agency into cleaning up graffiti on its property.
Casey Mayor Sam Aziz says while the jurisdiction spends around $400,000 per year to clean up graffiti, VicRoads’ annual budget for the same thing across the entire state is only $100,000. Aziz told 3AW radio:
“Clearly the budget is inadequate. We’ve been onto VicRoads about this for the last three years. They haven’t even paid us the courtesy of initiating dialogue as to how we can resolve this.”
“If you come to the City of Casey via the Monash Freeway you’d think you were entering the slums from the amount of graffiti that’s on there. It’s an eyesore.
“The responsibility for cleaning up graffiti on freeways is VicRoads’ because they are VicRoads arterial roads and they have full responsibility for maintaining them.”
The signs will be on council-owned land and will be hard to miss — three by six metres, reports the Herald Sun. They will be erected within four weeks unless VicRoads comes up with a plan to remove the graffiti.
The council may also opt to include a photo and phone number for the state local member and Roads Minister, Luke Donnellan.
If VicRoads gave permission, the council says it would be happy to do the work itself, on a cost recovery basis.
Aidan McGann, spokesperson for VicRoads, told the Herald Sun they had been trying to get rid of graffiti:
“Recently we have been removing graffiti vandalism from noise walls along the Monash Freeway through Casey, only for the vandalism to reappear again.
“The current policy is to remove graffiti vandalism that is considered racist, offensive or has road safety implications as soon as possible.
“Other graffiti is removed according to other maintenance priorities.”
Last year 22,000 square metres of graffiti was cleaned off Monash Freeway surfaces.