Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra Gareth Ward MP has today announced that images representing Aboriginal culture, heritage and the Illawarra region are now on show as work finishes on an anti-graffiti project along Memorial Drive between Russell and Hopetoun streets.
Mr Ward said that local artists Warwick Keen and Anthony Jones designed and painted 14 colourful murals on a section of sound walls beside a public footpath, after workshopping the designs with students from Woonona High School.
“These sound walls, which were once a vandalism hot-spot and an eyesore for motorists, are now a great representation of what our region is all about,” he said.
“The murals feature images of Aboriginal culture, local fauna and flora, popular Illawarra locations and landscapes, hobbies and activities which make the Illawarra a great place to live or visit.
“They create a scenic gateway as you drive into Wollongong and will be enjoyed by the thousands of motorists who use Memorial Drive daily.
“Along with reducing costs and deterring vandals, the initiative aimed to improve public safety with solar lights installed on the footpath along the noise barriers.
“Local residents have already given the murals a ‘thumbs up’, with local school children favouring the murals with native animals. Other residents have commented they feel safer walking along the footpath at night with the new lights.
“Prior to the project, RMS would spend $100,000 each year on removing graffiti.
“The anti-graffiti project is part of a trial by Roads and Maritime Services, and if successful in meeting its aims, may be considered for other locations,” Mr Ward said.