Diluted … Barry O’Farrell has been forced to water down his graffiti bill. Photo: Quentin Jones
THE NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell, was yesterday forced to water down his graffiti bill to get it through Parliament almost a year after it was introduced.
The government supported an amendment by the Shooters and Fishers Party that removed a provision to strip young people of their driver’s licences for graffiti offences.
The bill had stalled after Shooters and Fishers Party MPs sided with the Greens in the upper house in August last year to amend the original version.
Under the original bill, all young graffiti vandals would have faced court and could have lost their driver’s licence. Asked last year, Mr O’Farrell said he would ”use every possible option” to pass the bill.
The government last week rejected a call by the upper house for a free conference, which would have seen 10 MPs from each house of Parliament try to resolve the deadlock.
The Attorney-General, Greg Smith, said the new laws would require juvenile graffiti vandals to appear before the court for a graffiti offence, give courts the power to extend the time graffiti offenders spend on learner or provisional licences and limit the number of demerit points they are able to accrue over a specific period.