Community Safety - "Safety House Zone" signs in Victoria, Australia

Rejected a nomination for an old and derelict "Safety House Zone" sign in Sunbury, Victoria, Australia. Reason: "Location Inappropriate".

It is a great old sign but it should have been removed by the "Safety House" community program when it ceased operations in Victoria in 2013.

The continued presence of this sign itself poses a risk to public safety as there are no accredited "Safety Houses" remaining in Victoria.

The sign has been reported as a safety risk to the Hume City Council.

Sorry to the trainer who nominated, but a good outcome from Hume should result in the removal of the sign. Maybe ask Hume to put a proper park name sign there instead?


  • flatmatt-PGOflatmatt-PGO Posts: 1,249 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Unicornsrule107-PGO The "Location Inappropriate" rejection reason is intended to be used for nominations located in adult-oriented location such as gun ranges, str*p clubs, or liquor stores. The more accurate rejection reason for this nomination is "Other Rejection Reason," as it simply does not meet any of the acceptance criteria.

  • MargariteDVille-INGMargariteDVille-ING Posts: 1,382 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think the condition of the sign is irrelevant, but am glad you rejected it.

    Is a "Safety House" where everyone would go if there's a nuclear bomb? Niantic isn't interested in "public awareness" waypoints. No also to blood donation sites, pet adoption centers, etc.

    Or is it a safe house for abused wives and children? It would be a terrible idea to have a group of strangers hanging around it looking at their phones.

  • Unicornsrule107-PGOUnicornsrule107-PGO Posts: 78 ✭✭

    It was a scheme developed in the 1970's and 80's to provide safe refuge for children who felt threatened by someone in their community. Think nasty people trying to entice them into a car, or being followed home from school.

    The program wound up in Victoria in 2013 but might still be active in WA.

    Our house was a Safety House in the early 80's; we had a plaque on the letterbox. Mum withdrew from the program when she got a full time job once we had all moved up to highschool.

  • No1ofConseqence-PGONo1ofConseqence-PGO Posts: 87 ✭✭✭

    I've noticed a concerning trend, to me, in both my 'Home' and 'Bonus' locations regarding Place Name Signs at local parks and reserves. The trend is for such signs to be removed shortly before Google shows the park/reserve being marked with a 'Temporarily Closed' text field (which never seems to be removed later).

    Here's an example:

    I thought I'd do a 'solid' for my two nieces who play PoGo down in one of the southern suburbs of the city in which I live and see if I could seed the area a little more with wayspots.

    Google Maps are a good start, so I start to search for locations using Google Street Maps and IITC. Most areas and likely sites seem to be already covered, but that doesn't mean every good candidate has been submitted.

    Surprisingly I believed I found one; right next to the local shops for the area. It's the Place Name sign for the park next door.

    Here's a crop from Google Maps:

    'Cool!' I think, while also surprised it isn't already a wayspot. 'This'll help earn me "Bestest Uncle!" points with the nieces. Bite me, siblings!'

    I know the playground set in the background, plus another sign at the opposite end of the park have already been submitted and accepted, hence my surprise this one had not.

    A couple of weeks later I'm paying family a visit and cruise on by the location before paying that visit.

    And... wouldn't you know it... the sign in gone.

    'Okay,' I think, quite miffed with the situation, 'Some foul fiend has denied me "Bestest Uncle" points with the nieces. This shall not stand!'

    The next day, Monday, I'm on the phone to the local council's parks authority to politely enquire as to why it was removed.

    My initial thought was the sign was vandalised and it had been removed to repair/replace it. I've learned that such was not the case.

    After a mix of sweet talking and somewhat firm demands for information I learned that it has become a standard operating procedure to remove the signs if there's any sort of problem with the park/reserve. In this case, the playground set had been somewhat vandalised and their safety folks deemed it to be a small risk to small children.

    Instead of erecting temporary fencing around the equipment to prevent children from playing on said equipment they've come to the nonsensical belief that removing the Place Name sign for the park is their way to show the park is "temporarily closed". And this council, apparently, are not the only one doing this.

    However, the equipment was repaired some time ago, but they've not yet replaced the sign.

    I have no idea why anyone could reach the conclusion that removing the sign would... possibly somehow... absolve the council of legal responsibility if a child was hurt from said playground equipment, but there ya go.

    So, reviewers, something to be aware of when reviewing park/reserve sign nominations in future; especially for here in (Western) Australia. That park Place Name sign a nominator has put up as a nomination might well have been there when they first took a photo of it; but it might not be there later, when you're reviewing. There is a slim chance it might not be a fake nomination after all.

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