Ted busting graffiti on the MidCoast

Published on 07 August 2023

Ted Bickford Graffiti Buster 20-7-23 (1).JPG

The impact and cost of graffiti has been highlighted recently in the MidCoast region.

In the last financial year ratepayers have had to fork out more than $70,000 to keep on top of the unnecessary defacement of council owned facilities.

The destruction is region wide with the most common targets being toilet blocks, parks and seating and even signs.

Council’s Director of Liveable Communities Paul De Szell said ratepayers should be angry at the recently released figure.

“It’s our ratepayers that are paying for this,” he said.

“It’s not fair on them and they have a right to be angry.

“It’s clear that there is a very big problem with graffiti.

“We are asking all residents to take a stand against this behaviour.

“That is a lot of money that could be better directed elsewhere benefiting the communities.”

Mr De Szell said not only did it impact ratepayers directly, but it also had an indirect consequence on the local economy.

“It comes back to being proud of the community we live in,” he said.

“We are a tourist destination and there are some absolutely wonderful spots within our local government area.

“We don’t want to see the area brought down by graffiti which also has the potential to impact visitor numbers affecting the local economy.”

Combating the increased graffiti is Ted Bickford a Council volunteer who is affectionately known as the Graffiti Buster.

He spends much of his free time responding to graffiti call outs and educating youth in the area.

“I’ve noticed there has been an increase in graffiti and call outs since COVID,” he explained.

“I have been doing this for years and I have built a great repour with all the kids in the area.

“I’ve worked really hard along with Council to help keep graffiti to a minimum.

“The important message I spread to everyone is about being proud of your community.”

Ted said it is important to act on graffiti as soon as it pops up.

Residents can contact Ted the Graffiti Buster on 0408 440 309 and while based in the Great Lakes area Ted travels throughout the MidCoast region.

You can also report graffiti by going to Council’s website and following the prompts.

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