RATES REFUSAL: Bob Maughan and her son and carer Hud. She is refusing to pay her council rates.
RATES REFUSAL: Bob Maughan and her son and carer Hud. She is refusing to pay her council rates. Christian Morrow

Resident 'living in a ghetto' refuses to pay rates

UPDATE: AS IF further evidence was needed things were getting wild in the streets around the Butler Street Reserve for residents, the car of a friend visiting Bob Maughan was attacked extensively vandalised late on Friday night. 

Wind screens  and mirrors smashed on the vehicle.

"My friend was visiting on Friday night and my son Hud had to go outside twice on through the night to move people on from the front of my house," Ms Maughan said.

"It was not until the next morning the damage was noted and we reported to the police.

Although Ms Maughan does not believe she was deliberately targeted she said it was an example of the kind behaviour that makes her feel unsafe and that like she is living in a ghetto.

"Even though we are close to the CBD Illegal campers nearby and other transiting the area are always carrying on like pork chops," she said.

"My friend and I will be attending the Byron police station today (Monday) to ask that regular patrols be undertaken of the area."

ORIGINAL STORY: CLAIMING Byron Shire Council is forcing her to "live in a ghetto", one angry Byron Bay resident is refusing to pay her council rates.

Long time resident of Somerset Street, Bob Maughan, said she has written to council saying she felt under siege from drug addicts, home invasion, nightly yelling and foul language from those living in illegal camps in bush land beyond the council amenity block at the corner of Somerset and Wordsworth streets.

So she is refusing to pay her rates until something is done about it.

The park has long been the site of numerous illegal but semi-permanent bush camps with a stabbing taking place in the area in 2016.

Ms Maughan said the noise and disruption from the nearby construction site recently set up to build the Butler Street Bypass is also taking its toll with the dust and noise from multiple truck movements contributing to her stress.

"I am lucky that my son lives in a residence out the back, even so my security screens have been smashed (by would-be thieves)," Ms Maughan said.

"I live with constant fear and anxiety but council, the police and rangers seem unable to find a solution.

"There are piles of garbage all around and inside the amenities block with the back of the building broken open so campers have access to power to charge their mobile phones, boil hot water and even run a microwave.

When Byron Shire News visited the site there were at least 6 well established camps together with piles of abandoned and semi burnt rubbish and camping equipment.

Aside from taking a swipe at local media for not covering the problem, in her letter Ms Maughan provided council with a list of problems and her fears writing:

My name is Bob Maughan and this is my story,

I am refusing to pay my rates whilst living in a ghetto.

(There are) drug addicts-homeless.

Public toilets are used to charge their mobile phones- microwave

Rubbish behind the council site, Cars x 6, Caravan (and) tents.

Home invasion (smashed screen door and window)

Nightly yelling, foul language.

Mental health (mine)

Council site, multiple trucks large, water trucks 8 times a daily.

Police, council, rangers won't help.

Daily papers cover celebrities etc, but nothing about this, just one block from the Rails.

This has been my home for 40 years, I mourn for the peace I have lost, the wetlands and fauna are in stress.

My home has become a construction site.

So many questions and no answers."

Bob Maughan, Byron Bay

PS: 7am 27th (November) 3 cops, 1 ranger, addicts fighting.

Byron Shire Council has been contacted for comment.


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