What is graffiti?

Graffiti is the illegal marking of another person’s property without permission.

Graffiti on a house at 2 Burgundy Street Pascoe Vale.

Graffiti can include tags, stencils and even colourful murals that have been done without the permission of the person who owns the property.

Street art is different to graffiti because it is done with the permission of the property owner and Council.

The Victorian Graffiti Prevention Act 2007 outlines a range of graffit related offences. People who are convicted of doing publicly visible graffiti or offensive graffiti on private property without the owner’s consent can be given up to 2 years prison and be fined up to $34,000.

Council response to managing illegal graffiti

The Moreland Graffiti Strategy 2017-21 (PDF 1Mb) outlines Council's strategic direction for managing illegal graffiti.

This strategy was developed in response to the increase in illegal graffiti in Merri-bek and the considerable social and economic costs to the community.

How to help prevent graffiti on your property

You can help prevent graffiti on your property by:

  • planting trees, creepers or fast growing vines to block access to walls and fences
  • using darker coloured materials and paints on fences
  • using rough or textured surfaces on fences
  • applying anti-graffiti coatings to paintwork in high risk areas
  • installing sensor lighting
  • breaking up large areas of fence line
  • keeping your property well maintained, and
  • removing graffiti as quickly as possible which helps to deter others.

Reporting and removing graffiti

Research shows that the faster graffiti is removed the less likely it is to reoccur.

Graffiti on Council property

Council is responsible for removing graffiti from property that is managed or owned by Council. This includes public toilets, street furniture, playground equipment, sculptures, artworks, bridges, roads, footpaths, bike paths and Council buildings.

Council also works in partnership with the Department of Justice to remove graffiti from large public areas, parks and reserves, commercial properties and main roads.

You can contact Council to report graffiti on Council property. Council Officers will remove the graffiti as soon as possible after they receive the report.

Graffiti on other public property

To report graffiti on other public property you need to contact the relevant authority.

Authority Area of responsibility  

13 11 70

  • Traffic lights
  • Traffic signal poles
  • Signal boxes
  • Most road signs
Signal box at Nicholson Street
13 22 03
  • Telephone boxes
  • Telephone stations
  • Telephone poles
  • Other Telstra property

Phone box Albion Street; Brunswick

AGL Electricity (north of Merri-bek Road)
13 20 99

Citipower (south of Merri-bek Road)
13 12 80

  • Electricity poles
  • Electricity supply units
Waterloo Street electricity pole; Oak Park
Australia Post

13 13 18

  • Red letter boxes
  • Green delivery boxes

Post Box Melville Road 188

Public Transport Victoria

1800 800 007

  • Trains
  • Trams
  • Buses
  • Train stations
  • Tram and bus stops and shelters
  • Other public transport property
1800 501 402
  • Glass bus and tram shelters

Graffiti on private property

You are responsible for removing graffiti on property that you own or manage.

However, you can contact Council to help remove graffiti if it is offensive, such as swear words or racial or religious slurs.

Graffiti removal kit

Council can provide a free graffiti removal kit (DOC 1Mb) to remove grafitti from your property. There are different kits available for different surface types, such as brick, stone or concrete.

Free paint voucher

Council also offers free paint vouchers to the value of $40 or $80, which can be redeemed at participating stores within graffiti removal kit for large areas

Mobile graffiti removal kit

To remove graffiti from larger areas Council has mobile graffiti removal kits available for loan which contain a high pressure unit and personal protective equipment.

To request a graffiti removal kit or paint voucher contact Council. A Council Officer will inspect the graffiti on your property and provide you with the most suitable kit. Instructions are provided with the kits or you can watch the videos below.

You can also visit the Victorian government Community Crime Prevention website for advice on graffiti prevention and removal, or watch the videos below provided by World's Best Graffiti Removal System.

Watch a video about removing graffiti

Using paint-overs to remove graffiti video

On timber and painted surfaces, painting over graffiti is often more effective than trying to clean it off. Keep some left over paint to remove graffiti should you need to, otherwise paint retailers can colour match. When painting over graffiti, test a small area first. If the graffiti bleeds through the paint, use a sealant before applying more paint.

Removing graffiti from brick and concrete surfaces video

Removing graffiti from sensitive surfaces

There are some documents that are only available as PDFs on this page. If you have trouble opening or viewing a PDF document, you can contact us through our Contact page and we will arrange to provide the information in a format that suits your needs. You can also go to our Accessibility page to find out further details.