$165,000 clean-up bill left by Coast vandals

SPRAY-paint vandals have left a $165,000 clean-up bill for the Sunshine Coast.

Unsightly, illegal graffiti tags, scattered on walls, power boxes, fences and parks have cost Sunshine Coast Council $164,397 in clean-up costs in the 12 months to June 2014.

The total volume of graffiti removed was 8116sqm.

The new figures are despite claims by Attorney-General and Member for Kawana Jarrod Bleijie that the introduction of tough laws had forced vandals to literally clean up their act.

The State Government introduced the mandatory graffiti-removal orders one year ago.

Since that time 15 Sunshine Coast offenders have been ordered to clean up their mess.

Five people in Noosa, eight in Maroochydore and two in Caloundra.

Adults and juveniles have had to scrub their graffiti off private property.

"I'm proud to call the Sunshine Coast my home and I share the community's frustration when I see homes and public spaces tainted by mindless vandalism," Mr Bleijie said.

"Graffiti is an ugly blight on our community and a costly one, which is why we're now sending vandals back to the site of their crime to literally clean up their mess."

Senior Sergeant Brett Young of Sippy Downs Police Station said he supported the new laws which have had a positive effect in his policing area.

Last year, just before the introduction of the new laws, eight offenders were arrested for 700 graffiti offences after a four-month investigation.

Before the arrests, graffiti was rife in the family-friendly suburb.

"The laws have been a good thing and are certainly acting as a deterrent," Snr Sgt Young said.

"It's worth having those offenders out there cleaning up to get the message across that this is not a victimless crime.

"It costs taxpayers thousands of dollars."

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