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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Mural honouring hero firies boss vandalised

A street mural honouring former NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons has been vandalised less than 24 hours after it was publicly unveiled.

The mural at Erskinville station in Sydney was painted by street artist, Sid Tapia in recognition of Mr Fitzsimmons’ efforts during the devastating bushfires of 2019-20.

The former fire chief, who was this year awarded 2021 NSW Australian of the Year, said he was touched by the public mural.

“Volunteers are at the heart of Australian communities. I will forever be grateful to the volunteers who stood up to be counted during the worst bushfire season we’ve ever had,” he said at yesterday’s mural unveiling ceremony.

“2020 was a year like no other and many are still dealing with the impacts of drought, bushfires, floods and storms and COVID-19.

“In the face of these challenges, it is our community spirit that empowers us to rebuild, recover and begin to heal.”

Ironically, the mural which is now covered in graffiti, was used to celebrate the launch of Graffiti Removal Day 2021.

“COVID-19 has reminded us of the importance of our homes and taking pride in our precious neighbourhoods,” Attorney General Mark Speakman said at yesterday’s launch.

“Graffiti Removal Day is the time to pick up a brush and reconnect with your local community in a COVID-safe way.”

Illegal graffiti costs NSW more than $300 million in clean-up costs every year.

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