Paul Prior, from Byron United, who wants community involvement in ridding the town of graffiti.
Paul Prior, from Byron United, who wants community involvement in ridding the town of graffiti. Doug Eaton

United declare war on graffiti

BUSINESS lobby group Byron United has declared war on graffiti in the Byron town centre, and is looking to enlist some conscripts to win it.

At the very least it is after volunteers, including the town's young people.

After being openly critical of what Byron United sees as the town's lack of aesthetic appeal and public infrastructure, president Ed Ahern said something had to be done.

“It's time to get serious about graffiti and the state of our town,” he said.

That seriousness has not translated into Byron United publicly committing any funding to its ‘Beautiful Byron' campaign.

Instead, the campaign will try and bring together various interest groups to get the job done.

“It's not so much about the money, but doing things in a different way and actually seeing it get done,” Paul Prior, chief of the Beautiful Byron Taskforce said.

“It will be a collaborative approach that will benefit the whole town.”

Mr Prior said Byron United would look to involve the Byron Youth Service in the project by getting young people to paint public infrastructure like toilet blocks in a way more pleasing to the eye than the tagging that is the bane of anti-graffiti campaigners.

He cited the example of electricity stations in Byron which have already been painted as an example of a solution to unwanted graffiti.

“The graffiti has been removed [from the stations] but the artwork hasn't been touched,” Mr Prior said.

Mr Prior also said several Byron Shire councillors have already walked around the town in the company of Byron United members to get a sense of the issue.

He described the councillors' reaction as positive, and said Byron United would look to walk around the town centre with the remaining six councillors in coming months.

Mr Prior nominated a time frame of one to three months as the period in which he hoped there would be a significant change to the town.

However, Byron Uniter's lobbying for improvements may get a result as early as this week, with councillors set to debate a motion at Thursday's Council meeting from Cr Patrick Morrissey regarding maintenance.

Cr Morrissey will ask council to support improvements to the town centre within a week of the meeting, including restricting public access to garden beds, hiding garbage bins owned by businesses stored on council land from public view, and trialling the painting of graffiti as part of the daily maintenance of town toilet blocks.



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