Yes Lain they are. And there is one species that appears to be found now in more built up areas. The Black Tailed Antechinus was thought to be only found in more elevated areas but they have recently been found on the Gold Coast.
While I don't condone any sort of cruelty to animals unfortunately with rats the only way to protect your birds is to kill the rats. Remember they are not only dangerous to our animals they are also dangerous to us. Where I used to live we had a huge rat problem and I lost many of my beautiful birds to them. When you see one of your beloved birds that you have hand raised from a young age and was literally your best friend, killed by one your sympathy for rats goes out the window. I ended up getting industrial bait stations to put around as I was worried about my dogs and cat getting a bait. You can get them from Bunnings, they are the large black ones that you often see in industrial complexes and they require a special key to open them. They are designed so that no poison can be transported out of the station and dropped where another animal could get it. Remember that there is never just one rat, there will be a whole colony of them even if you don't see them and they breed very rapidly. Chickens are the biggest attraction for rats as their food is often in open containers or ones that are easily accessible for rats so if your neighbour is prepared to put out some of the bait stations too it will ease both your problems. It is obvious that that is why the snake was living there as he had a ready supply of food.
While it may be a nice theory that all animals have a right to live and survive we would be better off with no rats. They can cause a disease called Leptospirosis and can affect all our animals and us. It is passed on by contact with fresh water, wet soil or vegetation contaminated by urine of an infected animal. In its second phase it can cause things like Kidney failure and meningitis. It is also a notifiable disease.
Live trapping of rats and taking them somewhere else to release is not a solution. Often you are only moving the problem to some other people. These rats are not native to Australia but were introduced here during colonization, even though it was accidental as they jumped from the ships when they arrived here. They are extremely dangerous to our native birds and animals. They will kill off our native marsupial rats and mice who do not usually attack our birds and animals as their diet is different to the domestic rat. Our native ones would have to be desperate for food to attack our birds. When my friends aviary was attacked it was during the long drought we had here and there was very little or none of their normal food to eat.
I am sorry if others don't agree with my opinions but they have never seen the destruction that rats have caused like I have. Remember they will also get into our homes as they are particularly partial to our food, but they also like to chew electrical wiring which in turn can fuse and cause our homes to catch fire.