Youth mural upsets homeowners

Glenn CordingleyBroome Advertiser
A section of the Dakas Street park mural
Camera IconA section of the Dakas Street park mural Credit: Glenn Cordingley

The creation of a mural by youths that backs on to residential homes has been hailed a success by organisers — but not everyone is happy.

The Shire of Broome Youth Advisory Council identified Dakas Park for a community “reinvigoration” art project in conjunction with several other agencies.

The idea was to help transform an area previously tarnished by antisocial behaviour with brightly coloured murals painted on a fence by local youth.

Shire acting director of community development Mark Davis said youngsters expressed their pride in being involved in the project and having their designs captured in the work.

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But neighbours Jeff Ward and Stephen McLaughlin are concerned the art will affect surrounding property prices.

Mr Ward said he was not consulted and Mr McLaughlin claims he was not given adequate time to respond to a survey as he was away working.

“It looks like we’re stuck with it and it will impact on house prices,” Mr Ward said.

“My bedroom window faces straight on to the mural and the fluorescent colours just don’t depict Broome whatsoever.

“It’s something that should be in a primary school playground, not a residential area.” Mr Ward rejected claims the park attracted anti-social behaviour.

“I built my house here in 1987 and have lived in it since and we haven’t seen any antisocial behaviour there in that time,” he said.

Mr McLaughlin agreed the park needed an upgrade but said the mural would encourage unwanted graffiti on suburban fences.

Mr Davis said about 70 local youths attended a park open day on April 1 and expressed pride in being involved in the project and having their designs captured.

He said key points raised in the consultation included the need for more shade, lighting and equipment to encourage physical activity.

“The Shire noted some concerns regarding the impact of the mural in degrading the area and fears it would encourage antisocial behaviour in the area,” he said.

“These concerns were addressed as part of the project, with local youth leading the development of the artwork, and encouraged to take ownership of the area.”

Mr Davis said the Shire sought feedback from the Housing Authority and adjacent property owners.

A number of trees have also been planted in the park as part of a Yawuru co-ordinated program involving about 40 youths.

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