12 May 2023

Griffith news wrap: new youth group, CBD CCTV cameras, Memorial Gardens makeover

| Oliver Jacques
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A group of young people and kids at a hall

The ConnectYOUth2680 group had a successful first event. Photo: Supplied.

This month’s wrap of Griffith news reports on the town’s new youth group’s inaugural event, the installing of new CCTV cameras to curb vandalism and a planned makeover of the Memorial Gardens.

Youth Group hosts first event

The newly-formed Griffith Youth Action Group, which comprises 13 young people aged between 12 and 24, has successfully hosted its first event in Griffith.

The council-formed group, which calls itself ConnectYOUth2680, aims to represent and advocate for young people in the community by organising and promoting various events and workshops for youth.

In late April, it held the ConnectYOUth Festival, at which up to 150 young people enjoyed live music, sports, market stalls, and food at the Griffith Regional Sports Centre.

READ ALSO Griffith basketball star to tour USA after national championship captaincy success

Lara Rossetto, the event’s coordinator, expressed her satisfaction with the outcome and highlighted the festival’s purpose of connecting young people in Griffith.

“The idea of our group is to build awareness and give young people in Griffith a voice about youth-related issues,” she said.

“We are really happy with how everything turned out, and it was great to see so many young people get together and enjoy the afternoon.”

The 2023 Youth Action Group members include: Ella Morrissey, Lara Rossetto, Paddy Payne, Cecilia Bellicanta, Rosie Borg, Sophie Nolan, Lily Curruthers, Madisyn Sarkis, Lucy Payne, Ella Gaske, Max Brown, Zoi O’Neil and Izabella Apolloni.

You can get in touch with the group via their Facebook page.

Street Scapes trailer

Plants were stolen from Street Scapes, one of the incidents that sparked the call for more CCTV cameras. Photo: Oliver Jacques.

More CCTV cameras installed in CBD

Following a spate of vandalism incidents across the town, Griffith City Council announced the installation of 48 new CCTV cameras in Banna Avenue, which will increase the number of cameras in the main CBD to a total of 77.

Additionally, 19 CCTV cameras have been installed in City Park.

The new CCTV cameras will provide significant safety benefits for residents and visitors to the area. The cameras will be monitored by the Griffith Police Station and can be viewed in real-time or used to extract footage if required.

“The safety of our residents and visitors to our city is our top priority,” Mayor Doug Curran said. “These new cameras will not only help deter crime but will also assist the police in their investigations and provide valuable evidence in the event of an incident.”

The decision comes after vandals targeted Street Scapes late last year, a popular council initiative in which Memorial Park is fitted with colourful seating and hosts a range of outdoor activities. A metal bar was forcibly removed from an exhibit trailer and several plants were stolen. In City Park, vandals have set fire to bins, damaging amenities, and left large amounts of rubbish behind.

READ ALSO Griffith City Council offers $5000 reward to curb vandalism

The cameras are equipped with high resolution lenses and are capable of recording 24/7, ensuring that every angle of the area is covered.

The initiative was funded through round five of the Safer Communities Fund, provided by the Commonwealth Government, which aims to support local communities to address crime and antisocial behaviour.

Colombian women dancing in colourful dresses.

The Memorial Gardens hosts the annual Griffith Multicultural festival. Photo: Oliver Jacques.

Memorial Gardens makeover

Griffith City Council’s Memorial Gardens Embellishment Committee has announced $200,000 will be spent on a new plan to refresh the gardens.

The concept design includes new footpaths and new plantings which is aimed at enhancing the beauty of the area and creating a more enjoyable space for visitors to the park.

At the ordinary council meeting held on 11 April 2023, councillors endorsed the Memorial Gardens Draft Landscape Concept Plan, which will now progress to inviting quotation to undertake work.

Chair of the Memorial Gardens Embellishment Committee, councillor Laurie Testoni, said he was thrilled to see the project progress to this stage.

“We have been working on this plan for quite some time, and I am excited to see it come to fruition. We consulted the local RSL and other stakeholders and their input has been extremely useful,” Cr Testoni said.

The new design for the Memorial Gardens was based on an informal meeting held at the Memorial Park Gardens on 23 November 2022, where the committee discussed concepts with local landscaper Garry Moore.

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