RESIDENTS in Poowong’s The Birches Estate say they are fed-up with South Gippsland Shire Council’s double standards when it comes to maintaining council-owned land.
The residents say they have made several phones calls to council over the past fortnight, raising their concerns about an overgrown reserve in Betula Drive.
The waist high grass according to the residents it not only a fire hazard but is also believed to be attracting snakes to neighbouring properties.
Among the concerned residents is Dean Haverkamp who says council is quick to hand out fines to landowners if their blocks are more than 30cm high.
Mr Haverkamp says the same rules should also apply to council-owned land.
“We all keep our properties looking neat and tidy and then we have this in the estate,” he said.
“I called up earlier this year about it and council said that this reserve is only listed to be cut once a year.
“We just want it maintained properly.”
The residents say there have been several snakes sighted near the land and a local family who live on the adjoining property to the reserve have reported their dog has been bitten twice.
They say they pay high council rates, yet feel they’re getting nothing in return.
“There are overgrown trees and shrubs and they let the blackberries grow out onto the road,” fellow resident Chris Ogilvy said.
The residents say when they have contacted council they have been told that it should be cut before Christmas, but there are no guarantees.
And with today (Tuesday) being the first day of summer, their fears of the potential fire hazard in their street are only being heightened.
A response from the South Gippsland Shire Council was unable to be obtained before deadline.
Owners of cats and dogs should be on high alert for snakes according to Fay Hardy of Foster.
Fay, who is a local animal welfare ambassador, so she has heard reports of fatal snake bites on cats and dogs right across the Bass Coast and South Gippsland shires.
Ms Hardy said owners should keep their properties tidy to minimise the risk, and said particular care should be taken around ponds and dams.