Caroline St Redfern is a shining example of a what a community can do when they band together to solve problems in their neighbourhood. Once thought of as a hot bed of crime, where pizza deliverers refused to service and many others refused to tread, the street has been transformed by the simple actions of residents who dared to work for something better.
By setting up strings of fairy lights on their balconies spelling out positive words like “love”, “hope” and “beauty” the street has become a place that people go out of their way to look at, rather than avoid, and the pizza deliverers have returned after so many years absence.
Not happy to leave it at that I was approached by a resident of Caroline St recently asking if an unused building on the corner of Caroline and Hugo Streets could be used as a legal graffiti/street art space. The building is currently something of an eyesore so I was only too happy to support the idea of it being used in this way.
A petition was gathered by the residents and when I presented it to Council I was pleased to see it accepted by everyone but the lone Liberal Councillor. Council staff are now in the process of consulting with the community and putting the plan into action.
The building won’t serve as a graffiti space permanently as it may become part of the Eora Journey sometime in 2013/14, however this will mean the site can serve as a trial of legal graffiti spaces, something we haven’t had in the City for some time. Assuming I’m re-elected to Council in September this year I’ll be doing my best to make sure that, once this trial concludes, the City works to create inclusive and positive art spaces like this wherever the community want them.