Mayor Tate refusing to give up on removal of Bieber ghost

A STAND-OFF continues between Mayor Tom Tate and a Surfers Paradise hotel which is still proudly displaying a Justin Bieber graffiti wall.

The 19-year-old Canadian pop star left his mark on the external wall at the QT Hotel during his stay last November, going against the City’s anti-graffiti stance.

At the time Mayor Tate asked Bieber to remove the colourful Pacman-style ghost images, sending a graffiti-removal kit to the hotel. The other option was for the ‘Baby’ singer to make an appearance at the Mayor’s Christmas Carols…


Neither request was taken up.

Now, the Brisbane Times reports the hotel has refused to comply and has gone so far to promote a graffiti competition on its Facebook page, for budding artists wanting to display their skills on another wall of the hotel.

However, the operators have indulged Cr Tate by covering most of Bieber’s artwork with black plastic, held in place by duct tape.

That does not bode well with Cr Tate: “Covering up is not good enough,” he said.

“The public … and ratepayers won’t be satisfied until QT Gold Coast starts listening and cleans up.”

Cr Tate said the hotel had set a “terrible example”, with at least one other holidaymaker arrested for graffiting just a short distance away.

“Public property including trees and safety signage has been repeatedly vandalised along the footpath directly opposite the QT Gold Coast’s graffiti,” he said.

“There is no question this city block has become graffiti prone and is costing ratepayers every time city cleaners respond.”

Cr Tate said the council was still considering forcing owners of properties with significant graffiti – including the hotel – to offset the city’s $2 million annual graffiti removal spend.

“This could include levying higher rates on those who own derelict buildings and fail to report graffiti on and around their property,” he said.