Rainbow Chalk Crossings exempted from new Graffiti Laws
LGBTI advocates and gay rights activists are over the moon at the Coalition Government’s decision yesterday to agree to the Greens’ amendment to exempt chalking from the new anti-graffiti laws.
The original proposal would have criminalised street artists from chalking artworks, children from drawing hopscotch squares and DIY rainbow practitioners from chalking rainbow crossings.
James Brechney, the Sydney man behind the DIY rainbow movement, which has since taken the world by storm, told SX he was delighted with the outcome.
"It's so pleasing to see common sense finally prevail on this issue. The timing of this chalk amendment just six months after our viral rainbow chalking campaign, was not lost on us," said Brechney.
"Harmless chalking in public spaces should never have been considered an infringement and we want to thank the Greens for working so hard to prevent this knee-jerk reaction from happening.”
Greens MP and Justice Spokesperson David Shoebridge said the need for the amendment showed how draconian the original proposal was and suggested the new scheme still needed revisions.
“In supporting the Greens amendment to this bill the Government stepped away from creating a law that criminalises children chalking out hopscotch or handball courts on the footpath. This is a positive step,” said Shoebridge. “Though we are glad they saw sense on this aspect of the laws, the remaining elements of the scheme will continue to divert police resources away from dealing with serious crimes. The bill will produce a scheme which still does not provide an appropriate or sufficient diversionary regime.”
Shoebridge believes it is time to work on strategies to reduce graffiti offences rather than engage new ones.
“It is time to move away from creating ever more offences, and start working on strategies that work to prevent graffiti, like greater youth engagement and environmental landscaping solutions.”
Image: James 'brecko' Brechney chalking the first DIY raibow at Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills.