Mildura Weekly : Friday January 30 Vol 9 No 12 2015
NEWS 13 FRIDAY, JANUARY 30, 2015 MILDURAWEEKLY.COM.AU MOTORISTS approaching or de- parting Mildura on the Calder Highway continue to be treated to a moving picture show, with doz- ens of carriages of freight trains featuring colourful ‘art’ works by scores of Melbourne-based graffiti vandals. The latest art show was on full display this week between Red Cliffs and Ouyen, with as many as 40 ‘tagged’ freight wagons wait- ing to be loaded with 2014-season wheat at the Carwarp silos. It’s a colourful sight, but con- tinues an unlawful practice that is costing councils and businesses across the State millions of dollars in clean-up fees. Despite the best efforts of coun- cils, transport authorities, police and business owners, the graffiti problem is getting worse, and al- most certainly out of hand. This is despite the fact that some cities, Melbourne and Mildu- ra included, have made space avail- able for so-called graffiti ‘artists’ to leave their mark. In Mildura’s case, this was the rear wall of the Kmart building, down the lane between Lime and Pine Avenues. It features some of the worst street art that people will ever see. Melbourne has gone several steps further, opening up as many as eight public places for ‘official’ graffiti, including the renowned Hosier-Rutledge Lanes opposite Federation Square, Union Lane off Bourke Street, and Palmerston Street in Carlton. But the graffiti vandals haven’t been satisfied with this, and have continued their ‘tags’ on the near- est available adjoining space. In Mildura’s case these are the rear fences of properties fronting 7th Street, while in Melbourne, street artists have left their mark on every railway carriage on the sub- urban network, every bridge and overhead walkway, many railway stations, and most rear fences and some properties that adjoin rail lines. Moves in recent years to crack down on graffiti vandals have failed dismally, and the clean-ups continue to collectively cost coun- cils many millions of dollars. It appears that rail networks have simply given up, with as many as 60 carriages a month being tar- geted. The average is 35. Not so long ago, rail authorities had a strict policy on graffiti. This included getting rid of offensive ‘tags’ immediately, removing exces- sive graffiti within 48 hours, and all other graffiti within three days. Obviously, if the amount of graffiti out there is any indication, and despite the best efforts of rail authorities and police, ‘Plan A’ has been an abject failure, costing Mel- bourne Rail at least $13 million over the past decade. Not to men- tion the constant disruption to train services, and therefore, passengers. The graffiti vandals strike any- where, any time, although they do prefer to skulk around at night. The most brazen even resort to tamper- ing with signals and train braking systems, bringing trains to a halt so they can leave their mark. Witnesses have told police that some of the vandals even wear head-based go-pro cameras to re- cord their work, some of which is put on line via social media outlets. Some go to extreme lengths to leave their mark, riding on the rear - or the roof - of carriages, while con- tinuing their spray-painting, and there is at least one recorded death of a young graffiti artist who fell from a carriage while train ‘surfing.’ There are several cases of young graffiti artists being caught, brought before the courts and convicted, but given not much more than a slap on the wrist. In one case, an overseas visitor who was fined several thousand dollars in default some serious jail time simply fled the country and re- turned home. If the grain freight train parked this week at Carwarp is any indica- tion, it appears that graffiti, in all its various forms, is here to stay. Graffiti artists go off the rails • TRAIN OF THOUGHT: Graffiti covers every wagon of the freight train being loaded with wheat this week at the Carwarp silos. The rail freight line between Melbourne and Mildura is often a moving sea of colour and self-expression as... Conveyancing Leasing | | 2277 Te nnth SSt Milildura || 50022 77227 Open Daily 10am - 5pm Jelly Belly Beanboozle d From t heUSA Hurry in and grababoxtoday!
Friday January 23 Vol 9 No 11 2015
Friday February 6 2015 Vol 9 No 13