A mural “with the lot” is now in South Melbourne as part of Port Phillip Council’s war on graffiti.
The street art, which features burger lovers Elvis Presley and supermodel Gigi Hadid, and recent royal visitors to South Melbourne Beach, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, was completed on the weekend by local artist Liam Vear.
Council provided $2000 towards the mural and had officers on hand to provide anti-graffiti advice. Free Burgerlove Elvis Burgers were handed out in the street party atmosphere along with choc tops and toys.
Mayor Bernadene Voss said the eye-catching “Burgerlove Lane” artwork, on the side of Burgerlove’s George Street store, is more than just a feast for the eyes.
“Graffiti removal has cost Council more than $330,000 over the last 12 months – and the problem is getting worse. We know that taggers avoid defacing street art so we hope this quirky art work will act as a deterrent,” Cr Voss said.
Other anti-graffiti measures include community consultation to be launched soon to help inform a review of Council’s Graffiti Management Plan and investigating opportunities to partner with other councils to potentially reduce clean-up costs and track tagging activities.
The mural also forms part of a Council placemaking program for South Melbourne, Fitzroy Street and Waterfront Place aimed at encouraging residents, traders and property owners to work with Council on trials, pop-ups and minor works to enhance each location’s unique “look and feel”.
Cr Voss praised Haymes Paint for generously donating the paint and Burgerlove founder Steve Agi for commissioning the artist, contributing to the design and strongly supporting the event.
“It’s always great to get support and assistance with a vision and the Mayor, along with the entire team at the City of Port Phillip, have been incredible in bringing this idea to life,” Mr Agi said. “I must thank all the sponsors, my amazing #burgerlove Crüe and Liam of @VearyCreative, I’m sure you all agree this is an amazing expression of Melbourne street art and LANEWAY culture.”
Graffiti removal costs to Council over the past 12 months include:
$165,000 – Graffiti removal contract
$164,564 – Paint Out program (painting over graffiti)
$5000 – Free graffiti removal kits provided to residents and traders.
Council actively supports and encourages legitimate street art in Port Phillip by providing funding for the installation of artworks at locations where there are high levels of graffiti.
The aim is to deliver best value for money for the community while reducing repeat removal of graffiti and supporting creativity and art in public spaces. Projects in the last 12 months have included a laneway off Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, and public toilet blocks in Elwood and Port Melbourne.