About the grants

Grants overview

The Graffiti Prevention Grants provide funding of between $5,000 – $30,000 to Victorian councils to support effective graffiti management initiatives in partnership with community stakeholders.

Graffiti removal activities and resources will only be funded as part of broader graffiti prevention efforts. Budget for graffiti removal activities and resources must not exceed $10,000 or one-third of total grant funds (whichever is the lower).

Financial co-contributions are not mandatory but are encouraged and will be considered when assessing whether the project represents value for money, particularly when project activities benefit commercial premises.

A new stream of funding has been introduced in 2019-20 to support councils develop comprehensive graffiti management strategies. This will enable councils and their community to better understand graffiti vandalism within the municipality and how to respond.

For further information, visit the Department of Justice and Community Safety Community Crime Prevention website at: crimeprevention.vic.gov.au (External link)

Applications are closed for the 2019-20 grant round.

Grant objectives

The objectives of the Graffiti Prevention Grants are to:

•   support councils to develop comprehensive graffiti management strategies 

•   encourage and support councils and communities to identify and deliver comprehensive graffiti prevention and removal activities in local areas

•   increase community confidence in the safety and security of public places

•   assist councils and communities to improve the visual amenity of neighbourhoods through the prevention and removal of graffiti

•   promote widespread engagement in community crime prevention initiatives across Victoria.

Why is the Victorian Government funding these grants?

It is illegal in Victoria to mark graffiti on property without the owner’s consent.

Graffiti vandalism not only affects the visual appearance of neighbourhoods and influences perceptions of public safety, it is also costly for communities and property owners to remove graffiti.

Graffiti prevention measures aim to reduce the opportunities for offending and encourage ownership and observation of areas by the community as a means of discouraging vandalism.

Individual communities are in the best position to determine which prevention measures are most suitable to their particular problem. Councils are well-placed to ensure that graffiti prevention solutions are owned and supported within their local community and align with council’s broader graffiti management strategies.


Who can apply?

Only Victorian councils are eligible to apply for Graffiti Prevention Grants funding. Community stakeholders interested in local graffiti prevention should contact their local council to discuss their ideas. Local council contact details are available via the “Find your local council” link at knowyourcouncil.vic.gov.au/councils (External link)

Councils can submit multiple grant applications, but each project must be stand-alone.

Stream 1 – Strategic Planning

What will be funded?

A new stream of funding has been introduced in 2019-20 to support councils to develop comprehensive graffiti management strategies. This will enable councils and their community to better understand graffiti vandalism within the municipality and how to respond.

This funding stream supports councils to develop a graffiti management strategy to strengthen graffiti prevention and removal activity. The strategy must be developed in conjunction with a range of community stakeholders and should build on an audit of graffiti vandalism within the municipality.  

Eligible activities include:

  • graffiti audit activity
  • research and preparation of the strategy
  • reasonable community consultation costs

A comprehensive graffiti management strategy should:

  • build on and present the findings of graffiti audit activity and other evidence
  • cover both removal and prevention approaches
  • apply a whole-of-organisation approach with clear involvement across relevant council departments
  • be developed in conjunction with the community and clearly outline roles and responsibilities across stakeholders
  • articulate a policy approach on key issues
  • contain clear recommendations for action
  • outline targets that can be used to inform evaluation activity.

You will also need to confirm that the strategy will be formally endorsed by council within the period of the program and this will be built into your funding agreement if your application is approved for funding.



Stream 2 - Graffiti Prevention Activities                     

 What will be funded?

Applicants under this stream are strongly encouraged to adopt a comprehensive approach to addressing illegal graffiti by drawing on a range of graffiti prevention strategies. This may include linking graffiti prevention activity with streetscape or other amenity improvements, adopting a multi-faceted approach to preventing illegal graffiti within a particular area and incorporating strong community engagement to encourage sustained project benefit.

To be eligible for funding under this stream, projects as a minimum must have

  • a focus on graffiti prevention
  • a partnership between the council applicant and at least one community-based group to develop and implement the project.

Some activities and initiatives that are eligible to receive grant funding under this stream include:

  • crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) initiatives to improve natural surveillance
  • anti-graffiti coating or graffiti resistant materials
  • place-based activities that encourage greater usage of a space and community ownership to care for an area which is a graffiti hotspot
  • initiatives to cover walls vulnerable to graffiti vandalism such as vertical gardens and plants, murals and public art
  • graffiti removal activities such as community-based clean-up days
  • graffiti removal resources such as graffiti removal kits for residents that form part of broader graffiti prevention efforts.*
  • anti-graffiti community education initiatives to promote understanding of:

–   how to report and respond to graffiti on private property (including commercial property)

–   the impact and consequences of graffiti, particularly among young people and/or their parents / guardians (refer to the anti-graffiti education factsheet)

–   laws relating to the sale of aerosol paint cans to under 18 year olds among relevant traders and good practice regarding the storage and display of aerosol paint cans.

*Funds allocated to the graffiti removal component of these projects must not exceed $10,000 or one-third of total grant funds (whichever is the lower).

Refer to Appendix 1 for information on how to identify the most appropriate strategy to address graffiti in your local area.

Public art, murals and education programs

Public art and murals should only be considered as one of a range of strategies aimed at preventing graffiti where there is local support and they are considered an effective response to addressing an illegal graffiti hotspot.

Projects that involve young people using aerosol spray cans to paint murals should minimise the risk of those young people using the skills obtained to commit graffiti related offences. The Graffiti Prevention Grants require all projects with a public art or mural component to include a structured anti-graffiti education program for any young people directly participating in the project.

For further information please refer to the anti-graffiti education fact sheet at crimeprevention.vic.gov.au/graffitigrants (External link)

What will not be funded?

Projects will be considered ineligible and will not be funded if they:

  • do not have graffiti prevention as the key focus
  • do not have at least one community-based project partner (Stream 2)
  • involve activities that are the primary focus of other government programs or areas of responsibility, for example the purchase and installation of CCTV cameras
  • are primarily for the benefit of commercial or business enterprises (other than small local retailers) established for profit-making purposes
  • include the establishment of 'free walls' (specified areas set aside for legal graffiti)
  • require ongoing funding to achieve the objectives of the project
  • have already commenced or have been completed
  • request more than $30,000 in grant funding for any one project
  • request more than $10,000 or one-third of total project cost for removal activities or resources
  • involve graffiti removal by private contractors with minimal or no community participation
  • cannot be completed by 31 July 2020.

Large or complex projects cannot be broken into separate grant applications to meet the funding cap as each application needs to be assessed on its own merit.

Community project partners

The following organisations and groups may be eligible Graffiti Prevention Grant community project partners:

  • incorporated and non-incorporated not-for-profit community organisations
  • local retailers, small businesses and local trader associations
  • local groups and organisations which represent special interests and issues, e.g. schools, young people, environment, heritage, cultural, sporting and residents’ groups
  • local police
  • public transport and utility companies.

It is expected that project partners are actively engaged in both the design and delivery of projects. 

Grant funding can be distributed to not-for-profit project partners to resource their involvement in delivering comprehensive graffiti prevention projects.

The Community Crime Prevention website crimeprevention.vic.gov.au (External link) and YouTube channel youtube.com/CCPUDoJVicTV (External link) feature a number of previously funded graffiti prevention projects, case studies and graffiti resources that may assist with project ideas.


Assessment criteria

Graffiti Prevention Grants are highly competitive.

Eligible applications will be assessed using the following criteria. Weightings in percentage are provided as a guide to the relative importance of each criterion.

1: Does the project
present a comprehensive response to graffiti management?


The application:

•   clearly demonstrates a strong need for the activities proposed

•   clearly states what the project will do and deliver

•   presents a comprehensive approach that incorporates a range of activities.


2: What will the project achieve now and into the future?


The application:

•   clearly describes what the project will achieve (anticipated outcomes)

•   explains how the anticipated outcomes will be measured to demonstrate the impact of the project

•   clearly outlines how the benefit of the project will be sustained and how the project will strengthen the community’s capacity to prevent and respond to graffiti vandalism.

3: Who is involved?


The application:

•   demonstrates a strong level of involvement across a range of council departments and community stakeholders

Stream 2 applications must also:

•   provide documentation from key project partners confirming their role in the project and any projects engaging ‘at risk’ young people should identify referral pathways and confirm commitment from referring organisations

•  where relevant, provide evidence of in-principle approval from the property owner for any proposed site-based solutions such as landscaping, murals or other environmental design initiatives.

•  describes the future consultation and engagement to be undertaken with people or groups with an interest in the project.

4: How  will the project be delivered?


The application:

•   provides a project management plan, including key milestones and timeframes, which supports project delivery to ensure it is completed by 31 July 2020

•   provides a detailed budget, including all income sources and co-contributions (financial and in-kind), as well as all expenditure supported by quotes or informed cost estimates

Anti-graffiti education programs (mandatory for all projects with a public art or mural component that involves young people)

•   clearly describes the structured anti-graffiti education program, including who will participate, who will deliver it and the proposed content.

Additional assessment considerations

In determining the applications to be recommended for funding, the Department of Justice and Community Safety will also consider:

•   whether a persistent or recurring graffiti issue is demonstrated in the target location (Stream 2)

•   the need to promote diversity in project types and locations across the state

•   value for money

•   whether an organisation has previously received a Community Crime Prevention Program grant.

Although co-contributions (financial or in-kind) are not mandatory, they will be considered when assessing whether a project represents value for money, particularly when the project targets illegal graffiti on commercial premises.

Non-compliance with previous Department of Justice and Community Safety or other Victorian Government funding agreements may be taken into consideration when determining projects to be recommended for funding. This may include a council’s previous performance in delivering projects within agreed timeframes.

Application and assessment process

1. Applications must be submitted online via the Community Crime Prevention Graffiti Prevention Grants website:
crimeprevention.vic.gov.au (External link)

2. Applications close 4.00pm Friday 26 April 2019.

3. Applications are assessed for eligibility and against the assessment criteria.

4. Recommendations for funding are made to the Minister for Police for approval.

5. Applicants are advised of outcomes usually within two months of applications closing, subject to the number of applications received.

6. The department enters into funding agreements with successful applicants.

Grant management responsibilities

Funding agreement

Once projects have been approved for funding by the Minister, the Department of Justice and Community Safety will prepare a funding agreement that includes a standard set of terms and conditions, and project-specific obligations for funding and reporting requirements.

Grant recipients (local councils) will be responsible for:

•   entering into a funding agreement with the department within 15 business days from the date of the funding offer (see crimeprevention.vic.gov.au (External link) for a draft copy of the agreement)

•   complying with the funding agreement and managing the project to agreed timeframes and objectives

•   ensuring relevant permissions for installation of any mural or other public art, or graffiti removal, are obtained in writing from property owners, either directly or through project partners

•   collecting data and other information at the start and throughout the project to measure the impact of the project

•   ensuring the Victorian Government branding is used and funding is acknowledged on all promotional materials such as media releases, websites and flyers

•   ensuring compliance with all government regulations, including occupational health and safety and any other applicable laws

•   ensuring they are compliant with the Child Safe Standards under the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005 and providing evidence of this as required by the department (projects engaging young people only)

•   ensuring appropriate arrangements are in place to sustain the project and its outcomes.

Project partners will be responsible for:

•   managing and accounting for any grants provided by council to resource their involvement

•   participating in project activities in accordance with the project management plan

•   encouraging and supporting community members and groups to participate in the project

•   complying with applicable government regulations, including occupational health and safety.

The department will be responsible for:

•   preparing funding agreements

•   monitoring project progress in accordance with funding agreements

•   supporting recipients with their reporting requirements as per funding agreements

•   ensuring prompt payment of invoices where reporting requirements have been met.

Payment process

The department will issue Recipient Created Tax Invoices to councils for the payment of grant funds. The first payment of 90 per cent of the total grant funding will generally be made on receipt of a signed funding agreement. The second payment of 10 per cent will be paid in arrears, upon evidence of satisfactory completion of the project.

Additional information


Additional resources that may assist you in applying for a Graffiti Prevention Grant are available at crimeprevention.vic.gov.au (External link)

In particular, applicants are encouraged to read the frequently asked questions and visit the featured projects page to learn from past graffiti prevention projects that have been successful in delivery quality outcomes.

Fact sheets are available on:

•   Anti- graffiti education

•   Delivering a public art or mural project to prevent graffiti.

There is also a range of videos on our YouTube channel youtube.com/CCPUDoJVicTV (External link) including case study presentations by past grant recipients and graffiti education and awareness videos produced through previous graffiti prevention projects.

Further information

If after reading the resources you have any questions, either phone the Grants Information Line on 1300 221 249 from 8.30am to 5.00pm weekdays (except for public holidays) for the cost of a local call, or email the Community Crime Prevention Unit at graffiti@justice.vic.gov.au (External link)

If you experience technical difficulties while writing, saving or submitting your application, please contact SmartyGrants Support on (03) 9320 6888 or via email service@smartygrants.com.au (External link)

Appendix 1 - Project design and delivery

Defining the problem

Before identifying project activity, it is important to have a clear and shared understanding of the problem you are trying to solve. Drawing on a range of evidence will help you demonstrate need for your project and better understand the context in which graffiti is occurring locally. Evidence may include local graffiti vandalism reports, information obtained through liaison with the community and Victoria Police, photographs, media reports and crime statistics. Information on the cost of removing existing illegal graffiti is particularly useful. Understanding the type of graffiti prevalent in the local area and how it is created will help you to identify the best way to respond. 

Identifying the causes

People commit graffiti vandalism for a range of reasons with offenders from a range of demographic groups. Knowing who is primarily responsible for illegal graffiti in your area and their motivation will help you to tailor your project. For example, providing legitimate opportunities for artistic expression for young people seeking ‘illegal fame,’ an adrenalin rush or to cause malicious damage is unlikely to be an effective response. Targeting project interventions to ‘at risk’ or disengaged young people is unlikely to reduce graffiti vandalism if they are not the ones committing graffiti-related offences. Information on the motivations of graffiti offenders can be found in a report by the NSW Government’s Crime Prevention Division available at crimeprevention.vic.gov.au

Understanding factors that contribute to the problem, for example a lack of natural surveillance in a relatively unused laneway or easy access to aerosol cans from local traders, can help you to identify solutions that best respond to the problem you have identified.

Adopting the right solutions

There are a range of strategies you could adopt depending on the problem you have identified and its causes. These include situational crime prevention techniques and can be either preventative or reactive.

Most illegal graffiti is opportunistic, and the easiest way to address the problem is through activities that make it less likely to occur in a particular location. Situational crime prevention focuses on reducing crime opportunities, rather than on the underlying motivation for criminal behaviour. In terms of graffiti prevention this would mean increasing the associated risks and difficulties, and reducing the rewards.

Situational crime prevention incorporates a range of useful strategies including:

Situational crime prevention strategy

Example responses

Increasing the effort required to commit graffiti

  • restricting access to an area
  • working with traders to ensure minors do not have easy access to aerosol spray cans
  • using graffiti resistant materials and design features/materials such as vegetation.

Increasing the risk of getting caught

  • increasing legitimate usage of a public space
  • improving natural surveillance through good design or lighting
  • making a recording and reporting system publicly available to aid the identification and prosecution of offenders.

Decreasing the rewards

  • concealing or removing targets, for example using landscape design to cover walls or other targets
  • rapid removal
  • arrange regular clean-up via the Victorian State Government’s Community Correctional Services Graffiti Removal Program or Court Diversion Programs (adult or youth) and community engagement programs
  • applying anti-graffiti coating to aid clean-up
  • ‘adopt a space’ for schools and traders
  • materials to educate traders/property owners of ways to manage and report graffiti. 

Reducing provocation

  • use of graffiti resistant materials (chain mesh as opposed to solid fencing)
  • rapid removal to deter further graffiti in an area
  • providing anti-graffiti education campaigns to reduce the negative influence of peers
  • police/youth centres working together to engage young vandals.

Removing excuses

  • educating young people about the community and personal impacts of graffiti
  • ensuring traders and relevant employers are aware of the requirements of the Graffiti Prevention Act and good practice regarding the storage and display of aerosol cans  
  • producing and distributing materials to educate parents and the community of the holistic graffiti issue and potential outcomes for those caught vandalising property.

Utilising a range of responses that directly target the causes of illegal graffiti in your local area, which have been identified and implemented in conjunction with a range of community stakeholders will give you the best chance of success.

Project planning

A clearly defined project plan will assist in keeping your project focused and reduce the likelihood of it going off track. Set out clear objectives to help define the project scope and determine the various activities that need to be completed to deliver your project successfully.

In order to achieve each objective, a number of activities may be involved. Assign roles and responsibilities against each activity and regularly check on project progress. Keep project objectives specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-framed.

Keep timeframes realistic, and if young people are involved, ensure to plan around school terms which may impact their availability and participation levels.

Many graffiti prevention projects will take place outdoors so changing weather conditions should also be considered.

It is important to allow plenty of time to effectively consult with, and engage, the community and encourage involvement before, during and after the project.

Monitoring your project’s progress against the project plan will help you to stay on track and deliver your project on time.

Measuring project impact

Being able to measure the impact of your project and demonstrate whether it has achieved its objectives is an important part of the Graffiti Prevention Grants. Unfortunately, data collection and information gathering is too often forgotten about until the project is finished, making it difficult to measure impact.

Before beginning your project, collect the baseline data and other information you will need to measure impact. You should continue to collect this data and information throughout the delivery of your project to demonstrate whether your project has achieved its objectives.

Remember, regardless of the impact your project may have, the learnings can still contribute to the broader evidence base for effective graffiti prevention strategies in the future.

Community engagement

Community engagement and participation is an integral component of graffiti prevention projects and a key assessment criterion.

Having a range of perspectives can help avoid problems and assist in engaging with different groups in the community.

Community groups and individuals help to identify graffiti problems, develop solutions and actively participate in the successful delivery of projects to achieve sustainable outcomes.

If public art or a mural is proposed as a component of your project, it is particularly important to engage the community in the design to ensure support for the artwork when installed.

The community also has a key role to play when measuring the impact of the project, particularly when you are attempting to improve perceptions of safety.


Community Crime Prevention Unit
Department of Justice and Community Safety
Date of Publication