Graffiti as anger grows

Andrew Kylie places roses at Guildford Hotel in a show of support for its restoration. Pictures: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au d410751
Andrew Kylie places roses at Guildford Hotel in a show of support for its restoration. Pictures: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au d410751

Friends of Guildford Hotel spokesman Ben Allen said on radio last week that the new graffiti was ‘very disturbing.’

‘It reflects the growing anger and frustration in the community, with the government’s inactivity on the building,’ he said.

‘There have been a distinct lack of banners with the owners and MPs and we held off on that because it’s a community issue but the lack of banners mean that we have now this unfortunate visual pollution in the community.

‘The (City of Swan) Mayor is in discussion with various members of the community and they control that, not us. We would want someone with a paint brush to get rid of what’s there now,’ Mr Allen said.

The City of Stirling is thought to be the first council in WA to approve an amendment to allow it to undertake early intervention towards heritage-listed buildings, which have fallen into disrepair, by forcing owners to pay for repairs.

The amendment was put in place to counter what is called ‘demolition by neglect’ where the owner of a heritage-listed building would allow it to become so dilapidated that it would be demolished, allowing the owner to build a new property in its place.

Stirling councillor David Boothman said if the WA Planning Commission approved the amendment, the City of Stirling would be given statutory powers to intervene when a heritage building was being neglected, regardless of it being a primary residence or not.

‘It will empower Stirling with statutory powers, not currently provided in the City’s Local Planning Scheme, to adequately respond to residents’ concerns when a nearby heritage property is clearly being neglected with the aim of demolition by the owner,’ Cr Boothman, the former Stirling Mayor, said.

‘If the amendment is supported by the WAPC, it is recommended that the City develop a management practice to guide the use of the provisions, including the factors to be considered and financial hardship may be one of these. It is also noted that serving a notice would be a last resort,’ Cr Boothman said.

Guildford resident Andrew Kylie said he had recently moved to the area from Sydney.

‘There are better ways to express peoples’ love for the building than graffiti,’ he said.

‘Flowers are better than spray cans.

‘This is a great place and we don’t want to lose this old building.’