Young people in the state’s west will have a unique opportunity to help tackle vandalism thanks to a NSW Government grant, Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke announced today.

Cowra Shire Council’s ‘Paint it My Way’ project has received $7,760 support from the fourth round of the NSW Government’s $10 million Community Safety Fund.

Ms Cooke said the project will offer Cowra youth an opportunity to participate in a community art workshop to design new murals for Cowra Skate Park.

The workshop will be facilitated by artist and project partner Ken Hutchinson who facilitated the original artwork at Cowra Skate Park that garnered strong community support.

Ms Cooke said the innovative initiative was a great way to get local youth engaged and to take pride in their community’s public spaces.

“This is such a fantastic way to get our young people out and about having some fun while improving the amenity of our shared public spaces,” Ms Cooke said.

“I want to make sure all our locals can come and enjoy the park and having our youth come and be a part of the solution improve the area is a great outcome in my books.”

The project will build on a regional skate competition in 2018, which engaged local youth in the skate park as a community space.

Mayor of Cowra Bill West said it was important that youth were engaged throughout the process.

“Cowra Shire Council are thankful for the NSW Government Community Safety Funding and look forward to the people of Cowra getting involved in the designing of the murals for the Cowra Skate Park,” Cr West said.

“Allowing the younger community of Cowra to be a part of this project will enable them to design the skate park how they wish it to be, as they will be the ones enjoying it every day”.

Minister for Police Troy Grant congratulated Cowra Shire Council on the project.

“This is a great way to involve youth in their own local community and prevent vandalism while enhancing the look of the skate park,” Mr Grant said.

“Parks are there for everyone to use and enjoy so keeping public spaces clean and accessible is vital to ensure their continued use and appreciation by the whole community.”

The NSW Community Safety Fund over the past four years has provided non-government organisations, councils and community groups with grants of up to $250,000 for initiatives to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.