Playground Tiger snake – ‘It’s only a matter of time…’

Galaxyland children's playground at Jacksons Hill, Sunbury.

Sunbury mother of two Meghan Morrow is worried a Tiger snake that’s taken up residence at a popular Jacksons Hill playground will seriously injure a child.

She is among many locals to have reported the snake to Hume City Council, but says little has been done to make the Galaxyland playground safer for children.

“Kids are one hundred percent at risk from snakes in this park,” she says. “It is only a matter of time before a child gets bitten. And then the council will say how sorry it is.”

Tiger snakes are associated with watery environments, and Galaxyland is adjacent to a large pond.

“Given a pond is so close by, council has absolutely put the park in the wrong place,” says Morrow. “They have built a children’s playground in a snake habitat. And yes, the signs about snakes are there, but council doesn’t do enough to protect people.”

When Morrow spotted the snake at around 9am on Tuesday 16 January, she called a Sunbury snake catcher for help. He told her it was a council matter.

“I phoned the council and a lady said they are called about this snake all the time, and would send someone out to deal with it. I offered to stay in the park to point it out to their snake catcher, but was told there was no need – they would send someone out.”

At 2pm Morrow called the council again, and spoke to somebody else who said nothing had been done about the snake.

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“She called it a ‘cheeky snake’,” says Morrow. “Cheeky or dangerous?”

“She told me nobody was available to be sent out. But the snake catcher called me later in the day and said council hadn’t asked anyone to deal with the snake at all.

“I’m told council get a lot of calls about it and just don’t follow through. The urgency isn’t there, the response isn’t there.”

Morrow would like a snake proof fence erected around the Galaxyland playground.

A council spokesperson says it received reports about a snake at Galaxyland last week, and says it’s important not approach snakes, to move away when safe to do so, and call its customer service team on 92052200.

Council has a page on snakes here and a Living With Snakes PDF factsheet.

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A large pond, ideal for Tiger snakes, is a few metres from the Galaxyland children’s play area.

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