Casey Councillors are united in urging VicRoads to clean up graffiti along the Monash Freeway – with promises falling on deaf ears.
Cr Sam Aziz said he was dismayed VicRoads had done “absolutely nothing,” despite face-to-face promises of cleaning up the freeway 18 months ago.
“When you drive on the Monash today it’s like the Bronx in the 1970s. It’s a shame that we spend hundreds of millions of dollars upgrading this freeway and not paying attention to the aesthetics of it,” he said.
He said residents were entitled to live in a clean city but VicRoads was letting everyone down.
“Where’s the comprehensive clean-up program that was going to start from Warrigal Road near Chadstone and go all the way down to Officer?”
“They’ve promised us the world and delivered nothing,” he said.
Mr Aziz said VicRoads agreed to spend $300,000 in not only cleaning up graffiti but setting up surveillance along the freeway to catch vandals.
“None of that seems to have transpired and that was promised to us over 18 months ago.”
“I just get frustrated by how long it takes for really simple things to happen.”Mr Aziz said he received more complaints about the graffiti problem on the Monash Freeway than any almost any other vandalism issue in the City of Casey.
“The thing we’ve learnt with graffiti is the more that you attend to it the less that it’s going to happen.”
He said Casey Council had a 24-hour removal policy when graffiti was reported on Council owned property and believed that other government authorities should be equally vigilant.
He said the State Government was turning a blind eye to vandalism, effectively giving vandals permission to continue.
“Unless all levels of government are applying the same approach then we’re always going to have a vandalism problem.”
Casey Councillors voted during a council meeting on 19 December to send VicRoads a letter, asking for an update regarding the clean-up of the graffiti which they say remained in a “parlous state.”
VicRoads Director Operations Metro South East, Michael Barker said VicRoads shared the same frustrations as the City of Casey and residents regarding graffiti on public property.
“We undertake regular inspections of our freeways to identify graffiti so we can remove it as quickly as possible, prioritising the removal of graffiti that is racist, offensive or a potential risk to road safety.”
He said VicRoads spends about $200,000 removing graffiti along the Monash Freeway each year.
To report graffiti on Council infrastructure call 1800 VANDAL (826 325) or email email@example.com.