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‘It’s a new art form’: Local council defends ratepayer-funded graffiti classes

3AW Mornings

Graffiti lessons have been launched in Melbourne’s west during the school holidays.

The Maribyrnong and Hobsons Bay councils are putting on a once-off ratepayer-funded class in Braybrook on January 23 for children aged over 12.

Maribyrnong Council Community Services Director Clem Gillings defended the controversial move, describing them workshops as bringing out the “positive side” of street art.

“It’s a new art form and something the community can’t ignore and dismiss,” she told 3AW Mornings.

“There’s some examples of positive street art in Maribyrnong and in the broader Melbourne area, it actually plays a positive role.

Ms Gillings said it was important to recognise the difference between illegal graffiti and other legal forms of street art.

“If the graffiti is illegal and has no permissions, it’s a negative and we remove it,” she said.

“There is an approved and positive form of graffiti called street art which actually adds to the public art and cultural experience in our community.

“It tends to celebrate things like multiculturalism, heritage and our sport achievements.”

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