Wednesday, November 9, 2011

AG at Estimates: Graffiti

General Purpose Standing Committee No 4 | Attorney General and Justice | 26 October 2011

Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE: I turn to the graffiti laws that the Government has been attempting to get
through Parliament. Was there any consultation with your department or with you about the proposed terms of those graffiti laws?

Mr GREG SMITH: I think I took advice. They took part in a Cabinet minute process. I am not sure that we discussed it in any great detail. There has been discussion about the setting up of the graffiti hotline. There has been discussion about the retention of Graffiti Action Day and discussion about assisting local councils that previously had not been assisted. When we were in the drafting stages there was some discussion about the implementation of the P-plate provisions and that sort of thing. That is all I recall. There was no brawl, no argument.

Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE: Do you accept that the pattern of laws, putting more juveniles before the courts, is contrary to your oft-repeated statements about removing juveniles from the criminal court system and taking a different and fresh approach to juvenile justice in New South Wales? It is directly contrary.

Mr GREG SMITH: I do not accept it is directly contrary. I think the graffiti situation is in plague proportions. It is a very serious area of potential criminality. It is a bad crime in itself and it leads to worse crimes—that is my belief. By putting them before the court, in a sense, we are helping to save them from a life of crime.

Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE: It is directly contrary to your work development order


  1. Thanks for posting this.

    'It is a bad crime in itself and it leads to worse crimes': I'd like to know what evidence Greg Smith could possibly cite for this. In fact, many graffiti writers state that graffiti has stopped them from being involved in a range of criminal activities such as car theft, burglary etc, because it provided them with a skill to develop, a desire to make art, a culture to participate in, and so on. Is it too much to hope that a politician might be well-informed about a situation before proposing such repressive laws? Apparently.

  2. Alison,

    Are you suggesting "kinder" remedies? Or should we be prepared to suffer the effects of graffiti because it is the only way to stop these poor darlings from engaging in something worse? Terrorism possibly?

    There are more non destructive digital outlasts for "art" these days than ever before. But could it be these people don't really have any talent anyway?