ART BEATS GRAFFITI AT MYRTLEFORD’S NEW LOO

An innovative graffiti project has brightened up one of Myrtleford’s popular parks and turned a graffiti-prone toilet block into a piece of art.

Labor Upper House Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes, today officially unveiled striking new murals on the toilet block at Apex Park – a key stop on the Ovens river loop trail and part of the iconic Murray to the Mountains rail trail.

Ms Symes said street artists and local teenagers came together last year to brighten up the local restroom in a bid to put a stop to graffiti.

The $28,000 project was funded as part of the Victorian Government’s Graffiti Prevention Grants, with the government contributing $22,600 and $5,400 from Alpine Shire Council.

“The new artworks not only help add colour and life to the park, but it also pays tribute to the history and natural beauty of the local area,” Ms Symes said.

“The eye-catching outhouse features Myrtleford’s tobacco kilns, the mountains, Lake Buffalo, the endangered Regent Honeyeater, as well as a ‘four seasons’-themed wall.

“This project has transformed a graffiti-prone restroom into a striking piece of community art that we can all be proud of.

“The new-look toilet block will become an attraction in its own right and help brighten up the area, which is a main stop for hikers and nature-lovers.

“This is such a beautiful part of our state and the Victorian Government is proud to have worked closely with Alpine Shire Council to put a stop to ugly and illegal graffiti in the area.”

The project was proudly supported by the local Ovens LandCare Network and Myrtleford LandCare, Victoria Police, Alpine Health, and Marian and Myrtleford Colleges.

Students participated in workshops and learned about the impact that graffiti has on the local community before turning their hands to paint two of the murals.

The Graffiti Prevention Grants program supports local councils to develop graffiti-prevention projects in partnership with Victoria Police and community groups across Victoria.

It forms part of the government’s ongoing work to tackle the root causes of crime, delivering a $19.4 million community crime prevention investment in the Victorian Budget 2016–17.