By Steph Hale
Graffiti artists may think they’ve made their mark but the blokes from Fremantle Men’s Shed are tackling them head on.
Members of the Fremantle Men’s Shed spend their Tuesday mornings cleaning up graffiti in the Fremantle CBD.
Alan Gowland, the Shed Coordinator, estimates the men remove 50 to 60 pieces of graffiti in a single morning.
They photograph and record the address of the graffiti and report larger jobs to the council’s own graffiti department.
The Fremantle Men’s Shed is a not-for-profit organisation that provides men of all ages with support structures to encourage community involvement.
The men themselves do the job for no more than a cup of coffee, but funding for the project is provided by the City of Fremantle.
When the funding was stopped for a short period of time, the Men’s Shed got in contact with the council.
“The Mayor said it’s money very well spent, it goes to a great cause and does a great job in that part of town,” said Mr Gowland.
Any profits made from the funding are redirected into support programs for youth and sufferers of mental health, intellectual or physical challenges.
Mr Gowland is proud of his teammates and the transformative work they’re doing.
“I think it’s good,” he said.
“It keeps men engaged, it keeps the CBD 100% cleaner than it would look otherwise and when people see the men out there cleaning it gives a good impression.”
Mr Gowland is concerned with the impact of graffiti on tourists’ opinions of Fremantle.
“If they see horrible tags everywhere they think, what an idle town,” he said.
Graffiti is a big problem in Fremantle and in Western Australia generally.
According to Crime Stoppers, the estimated annual cost of graffiti removal in WA is $30 million.