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Graffiti, unsightly properties and abandoned trolleys


Council response to managing illegal graffiti

Council is responsible for removing graffiti from property that is managed or owned by Council. This includes public toilets, street furniture, playground equipment, sculptures, artworks, bridges, roads, footpaths, bike paths and Council buildings.

Council also works in partnership with the Department of Justice to remove graffiti from large public areas, parks and reserves, commercial properties and main roads.

Report graffiti on council property

  • You are responsible for removing graffiti on property that you own or manage.

    Graffiti artists want their graffiti to be seen as much as possible, so it is important to remove it quickly to prevent it happening more.

    You can contact Council to request a free graffiti removal kit or paint vouchers to help towards the cost of painting over graffiti.

    Paint vouchers

    On locations that receive regular graffiti we recommend painting over graffiti. It is generally cheap, can be applied quickly, it is also easier than using chemical removers so often best for large areas of graffiti. Paint also doesn’t require pressure washing which can be better for some sensitive surfaces such as old brickwork.

    Graffiti Removal Kits

    Some surfaces can’t be painted over, such as glass. For those surfaces, and, for uncommon instances of graffiti, a chemical graffiti removal kit may be effective.

    Be aware that graffiti removal kits contain chemicals that can be harmful, they require PPE to be worn and must be applied in accordance with the manufacturers instructions.

    Chemical graffiti removal often requires pressure washing, so be conscious that repeated pressure washing may not be suitable on some surfaces such as old brickwork, so graffiti removal kits may not be best for areas that receive graffiti regularly.

    A graffiti removal kit contains, an instruction sheet, a safety data sheet, gloves, mask, safety glasses, eye wash, paper towel, paint brush, scrubbing brush and the graffiti removal chemical.

    Kits wont be provided to anyone under 18 years old. You may be asked for proof of age, evidence of residing/business premises within Merri-bek and will be required to sign a disclaimer before collecting a kit.

    Request a free paint voucher or graffiti removal kit

  • To report graffiti on other public property you need to contact the relevant authority.

    • Traffic lights, Traffic signal poles, Signal boxes or Most road signs

    Contact VicRoads: 13 11 70

    • Telephone boxes, Telephone stations, Telephone poles or Other Telstra property

    Contact Telstra: 13 22 03

    • Electricity poles or Electricity supply units

    Contact AGL Electricity (north of Merri-bek Road): 13 20 99

    Contact Citipower (south of Merri-bek Road): 13 12 80

    • Red letter boxes or Green delivery boxes

    Contact Australia Post: 13 13 18

    • Trains, Trams, Buses, Train stations, Tram and bus stops and shelters or Other public transport property

    Contact Public Transport Victoria: 1800 800 007

    • Glass bus and tram shelters

    Contact Adshel: 1800 501 402

  • You can help prevent graffiti on your property by:

    • planting trees, creepers or fast growing vines to block access to walls and fences
    • using darker coloured materials and paints on fences
    • using rough or textured surfaces on fences
    • applying anti-graffiti coatings to paintwork in high risk areas
    • installing sensor lighting
    • breaking up large areas of fence line
    • keeping your property well maintained, and
    • removing graffiti as quickly as possible which helps to deter others.

Unsightly properties

An unsightly property is one that is unclean, dangerous or neglected.

An unsightly property might have:

  • lots of rubbish in the house or spilling out on the lawn
  • broken down machines or vehicles in the front yard
  • offensive graffiti
  • an overgrown or out of control lawn or garden

If a property is neglected, it reflects on the rest of the area. It may also attract vermin or create a fire risk. We want to keep Merri-bek safe and tidy for everyone. We all have a responsibility to care for our community.

For this reason, we have created a law which states that property owners and occupiers must take care of their property and must not let it become unsightly. To do this, you can:

  • look after your garden and lawn
  • store building and other materials in your backyard, a shed or garage, or in your home
  • take your rubbish and waste to the kerb on pick up days and do not let any extra rubbish or waste pile up anywhere.

In addition, all vacant land in Merri-bek must be fenced, kept tidy and maintained. Even if you rent out your property, you still have a responsibility to make sure renters have not let the property become unsightly. If you breach this local law, you may be given a fine, a Notice to Comply or a referral to the Magistrates’ Court.

Download Moreland City Council General Local Law 2018 (DOC 622Kb).

How to report unsightly property

You can report an unsightly property online or by contacting us.

After we receive your report, we will inspect the property. If we agree that the property is unsightly or dangerous, we can give the property owner/occupier a Notice to Comply in accordance with the Moreland City Council General Local Law 2018 (DOC 622Kb).

Report unsightly property

What are my fire prevention responsibilities?

Every year before and during the fire danger period we inspect the properties that might spread or cause a fire.

As a property owner it is your responsibility to make sure your property is free of long grass, undergrowth, out of control vegetation, weeds and other materials that might create a fire risk.

If we think your property is causing a fire risk, we will give you a Fire Prevention Notice. See our Fire Prevention Notice flyer (PDF 247Kb) for further information.

Abandoned shopping trolleys

Whenever you use a shopping trolley, you need to return it to the supermarket or shop you got it from. Shopping trolleys shouldn't be left on the street, footpath or nature strip. Abandoned trolleys can be unsafe, as they can get in the way on roads and footpaths or can end up in waterways. Shopping trolleys left in public places and not returned to the retailer are considered litter and may result in a fine being issued.

Report an abandoned shopping trolley

If you see an abandoned shopping trolley somewhere in Merri-bek, you can report it in the following ways: