The snake hotspot between the Byron Bay swimming pool and the Main Beach car park.
The snake hotspot between the Byron Bay swimming pool and the Main Beach car park.

Beachside deathtrap

A "BEACHSIDE death trap" awaits unwary tourists who step onto a scruffy piece of public land between the swimming pool and the car park at Byron Bay's Main Beach, says a concerned resident.

Andrew Menzies, of Yelgun, believes the high incidence of deadly brown snakes in the long grass along the strip justifies a warning sign to be posted there.

"There is a clear and present danger to people who back their car in and get stuff out of the boot," he said.

George Ellis, Byron Shire's unofficial - and unpaid - snake catcher agrees the strip is a particular danger zone and says more needs to be done to make it safe.

"I have pulled quite a few brown snakes from that area and I would strongly urge the council to exercise greater diligence in keeping the grass short to avoid someone being bitten," he said.

Mr Ellis had been receiving between six and eight calls a day to remove snakes before the current rain set in, and took three snakes out of the Main Beach area in as many weeks.

The rock wall at Main Beach was a "Hilton Hotel for brown snakes", he said, with luxury accessories such as sun-warmed boulders and a population of rats the size of ferrets for dinner.

He commended local police, the surf lifesavers at Byron Bay and management and staff at the pool for their response to a snake's appearance.

The groups were "absolutely on the ball" and took all the proper steps to keep the public safe, he said.

"I just wish other people would deal with snakes on their properties as responsibly as they do."

Mr Ellis said he had been called to remove a 1.85m brown from the pool some years ago, and they had even been known to enter the surf on occasions.



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