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TasWater gets a spray of graffiti

TASWATER could soon be the next kid on the block when it comes to making a splash on Tasmania’s public art scene.

As part of a pilot program, three reservoirs and a water pump station have been set aside to get a makeover by some of the eastern shores best graffitists and taggers.

TasWater southern facility officer Rachaelle Downey said it was a project they’ve thought about for a long time.

“The approval to the pilot program was given due to the amount of public complaints TasWater receive regarding unsightly or offensive graffiti,” she said.

“TasWater see this as an opportunity to resolve graffiti and security complaints from members of the public and engage with the community including youth of the area in a positive way.

“By empowering the youth to take part in something meaningful to them, it helps create a greater sense of pride in their neighbourhood and in turn reduces the illegal activity in the area.”

TasWater joined with Clarence City Council to decorate the Mornington reservoir in March and have recently joined again to take on a reservoir at Rokeby.

The Council has a history of allocating some of its public spaces to graffiti art.

Studies show if young people have permitted spaces to carry out their street art, other spaces are often left alone.

It was also found that projects like this are rarely targeted and overlaid by random graffiti as the artist’s work is respected.

Turning graffiti opportunities into art work can also have financial benefits.

Cleaning unwanted graffiti off a reservoir can cost up to $10,000 but a full sandblasting of the structure with an anti-graffiti coating can exceed $200,000.

The artists will move to the Bellerive reservoir and a water pump station in South Hobart over the next few months.

Caption: Clarence City Council youth services coordinator Carolyn Bennett, TasWater southern facility officer Rachaelle Downey and Clarence Mayor Doug Chipman with the finished artwork at Mornington reservoir.