Lighthouse graffiti ‘failed’ as a form of political protest

UPDATE: 3pm

ANYONE with information about the graffiti sprayed on the Cape Byron Lighthouse overnight has been urged to contact authorities. 

A National Parks and Wildlife Service spokeswoman said staff had begun working to remove the graffiti today.

"National Parks and Wildlife Service is deeply disappointed that people would vandalise Cape Byron Lighthouse, which is a heritage-listed building," she said.

"The lighthouse is a very important fixture for the community. 

National Parks and Wildlife Service workers have made efforts to remove graffiti sprayed on the Cape Byron Lighthouse overnight.
National Parks and Wildlife Service workers have made efforts to remove graffiti sprayed on the Cape Byron Lighthouse overnight.

"Owned by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, NPWS operates a museum and volunteer programs from it."

She said National Parks staff began removing the graffiti mid-morning, in "strict accordance" with guidelines for heritage-listed buildings.

"While much paint was removed in a few hours, some red smudges remain," she said. 

"It is planned to apply white paint over this on Tuesday."

She said police had been notified and will be directed to on-site CCTV footage at the lighthouse. 

Anyone with information about the graffiti has been urged to contact police.

Locals woke to find the Byron Bay lighthouse vandalised on Friday morning.
Locals woke to find the Byron Bay lighthouse vandalised on Friday morning.

Initial report:

IT'S a building that was built to protect people, but little care was shown in return for the historic Cape Byron Lighthouse when it was hit with graffiti overnight.

Work to remove the bold red lettering splashed across the southern side of the lighthouse has begun.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service, which looks after the building and the surrounding national land, has been approached for comment.

The graffiti read: "Now all the quiet Austrans ar dead (sic)".

It's unclear exactly what impact this slogan was intended to have.

Byron mayor Simon Richardson said he couldn't oppose sharing "environmental and political": messaging in itself.

"I did that for many years all around Australia," he said

But stressed there were better ways to get a message across.

"This is an iconic space and we'd like to think it belongs to all of us," he said.

"This seems to fail on the political messaging front."

He said the act also seemed to "fail very much" at getting the community on side.

On social media, members of the community tried to figure out what the slogan even meant, most agreeing it was some reference to comments made by Prime Minister Scott Morrison about "quiet Australians".

Many people labelled the graffiti as "horrible" and "disgusting", calling out both the act itself and the vandal's spelling.

Cr Richardson said it was clear the person responsible had a message to get across, but he urged them to express it in another way.

 

An effort has been made to clean up graffiti on the Cape Byron Lighthouse.
An effort has been made to clean up graffiti on the Cape Byron Lighthouse.

"I'd say to them it's worth finding some help, finding a mentor," he said.

"The person's obviously got a passion, has obviously got a need to share that passion."

But he said they had done so "ineffectively" and in a manner that attacked a historical and culturally significant site.

"That site was traditionally an indigenous corroboree site," Cr Richardson said.

"It's a site that locals love.

"It's a shame it was abused in that way."