Media releases

Council stepping up to scrub the city clean

8 January 2023

The City of Melbourne did more cleaning in 2022 than ever before, removing the equivalent of nearly eight MCGs of graffiti in the past year.

Council’s Rapid Response Clean Team removed a record 150,000m2 of graffiti across Melbourne in 2022 – a 121 per cent increase on the previous 12 months.

More than 87,000m2 of graffiti was proactively cleaned, and another 63,000m2 was removed following reports from the public.

Targeted operations saw the removal of illegal tagging on bridges along the Yarra River – Birrarung, and more than 3200m2 of graffiti was cleaned from buildings and surfaces above 3 metres.

Council has also stepped up its efforts to remove dumped rubbish across the municipality, collecting more than 4,500 tonnes in the past 12 months – and an additional 100 tonnes of discarded mattresses.

More than 900 infringement notices and fines were handed out to those caught littering or illegally dumping rubbish in 2022.

City residents, workers and visitors continue to play an important role in reporting graffiti and rubbish across the city using Council’s QR code reporting system. Public reports of graffiti and street cleaning were up 60 per cent last year, compared to 2021.

The reporting system has ensured Council can double down on its efforts and allocate resources more effectively across the municipality.

Around 30 vandalised QR codes have been removed from Council bins this week – and we will continue to work with Victoria Police to identify those replacing QR stickers.

Council will continue to expand the Rapid Response Clean Team to fast-track graffiti removal across the city, thanks to a record $1.4 million investment in last year’s Budget.

Quotes attributable to Lord Mayor Sally Capp

“We’re stepping up to scrub the city clean – making sure Melbourne is sparkling for city residents, workers and visitors every day of the year.”

“Our Rapid Response Clean Team has proactively removed tens of thousands of square metres of graffiti from across the city – the large majority on privately owned property.”

“We’ll continue to target hotspots and work closely with Victoria Police to crack down on repeat offenders who are leaving a scourge on our city.”

“This year we’ll start implementing more anti-vandalism features, such as green walls and murals.”

Quotes attributable to City Transport, Infrastructure and Operations deputy portfolio lead Councillor Davydd Griffiths

“We’re scrubbing the city clean like never before – so everyone can enjoy our city’s public spaces throughout summer and the school holidays.”

“Removing record amounts of graffiti is a credit to our Rapid Response Clean Team, who are working to ensure our iconic streets and laneways are as inviting as our world-renowned open spaces.”

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8 January 2023

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