Graffiti vandals hurting Coffs tourism
TOURISTS are bypassing Park Beach due to constant graffiti vandalism that makes the beachfront area feel 'unsafe', according to an accommodation owner.
Sandboy Holiday Apartments owner Brett Carlyle said not a weekend goes by when he doesn't have to clean up broken beer bottles, remove uprooted plants from his pool and deal with graffiti defacing his building.
“This is costing me thousands in ongoing costs,” Mr Carlyle said.
“Visitors don't feel safe in this area and there's no incentive to keep running holiday apartments when our market's being driven elsewhere.
“And I keep being told it's an inherent problem with Park Beach and there's nothing that can be done.”
A spokesperson for Coffs Harbour City Council said it is estimated that vandalism costs the local community in excess of $100,000 every year.
For Mr Carlyle, the money he spent six months ago to buy the Ocean Parade accommodation house feels like a drop in a very deep ocean.
“It's not worth me outlaying more to keep it at the same level,” he said.
“Something needs to be done.”
Tough new laws to fight graffiti vandalism will commence this year, making it illegal to possess implements such as marker pens or etching implements with the intention of using them to damage or deface premises.
NSW recorded crime statistics show there were more than 47,000 incidents of graffiti vandalism in the state between 2001 and 2006, with the premises most often subject to graffiti being educational, with residential and business premises the next in line.
Coffs Harbour City Council's vandalism policy allows for the payment of a reward of up to $5000 for anyone who supplies information leading to a conviction, and vandalism of public facilities should be reported to rangers on 6648 4000.