Residents living near the Caltex Service Station at Brunswick Heads claim that large groups of young people, sometimes as many as 50, are making life hell for them.
The residents, in Tweed and Fawcett streets, say they have been putting up with excessive noise, unruly anti-social behaviour and drunkenness for as long as five years as dozens of young people congregate at the service station every weekend and often during the week.
The residents, who do not want to be named for fear of reprisals, said the young boys and girls party at the service station, sometimes until 3am and 4am.
“The service station operates 24 hours, seven days a week, and these young people are making our lives hell,” one resident said.
“They are drunk, they fight, and do doughnuts in their cars.
“We have all had enough and we are fed up that no one is doing anything about it.
“We ring the police, but often by the time they get here the group is gone, or the police move them on and when the police go the group just comes back.”
The resident said the service station had put on a security guard, but he seemed only to be there to deal with theft from the service station shop.
One resident in Tweed Street said that nobody was taking any responsibility for the problem. He has also questioned whether the service station has an approved DA to operate 24 hours, seven days.
“It’s my understanding that the service station can only operate from 7am to 7pm,” the resident said.
“When you have a commercial business located in a residential area that is operating all day and night, then it has a major impact on the area.
“The business only cares about profits, and Byron Shire Council should be trying to protect the social environment. The issue has been pushed back on to the community and everyone has let us down.”
The resident has written more than 30 letters to council and has now complained to the NSW Ombudsman.
Another resident said the young people used the petrol station’s icebox to keep their alcohol cold and they literally had ‘the run of the place’.
“I have had bottles and other detritus thrown at my home, as have my neighbours,” she said. “We have been verbally and physically intimidated and I am afraid to go out at night and feel victimised and vilified.”
Service station owner Trevor Brand said he had tried to address the problem.
But he said it was not up to him to control a group of young people who were running riot.
“It’s up to their parents,” Mr Brand said.
“I don’t control the youth of Brunswick Heads.
“What are we going to do – shut down the whole of Brunswick Heads?”
When asked what the security guard was supposed to be doing to help control the situation, Mr Brand said:
“Phone the security company and ask them.”
Mr Brand has owned the service station for 12 months.
Byron Shire Council’s executive manager of corporate management, Mark Arnold, said council had sent a letter to the owners of the Brunswick Heads Caltex Service Station regarding operating hours.
"As of today (September 3) no response has been received and we will follow this up at the end of the 30 days," he said.