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Australia: Locals Fight to Stop McDonald's in their Hills

Residents’ opposition to a new McDonald’s in the Melbourne hills suburb of Tecoma has linked direct action with online campaigning. In October 2012 an administrative tribunal overturned the local Council’s unanimous decision to reject a Maccas’s proposal for a new fast food outlet.

The Burgeroff website has three videos documenting their campaign so far. The first was posted at the time of the decision:

In addition to lobbying, rallies and marches, the activists have brought some fun to the protests by unleashing hundreds of gnomes on the steps of McDonald’s head office. We await “the reckoning of the gnomes”.

Gnomeageddon

Gnomeageddon protest at McDonald’s headquarters in Melbourne
Courtesy: Burgeroff website

There is the inevitable Facebook page: NO McDonalds in The Dandenong Ranges with nearly 6000 Likes. @SAVE_TECOMA, the No McDonald's Tecoma twitter account, was used recently to ‘SWAMP THE MACCAS SWITCHBOARD!

@SAVE_TECOMA: This is happening today folks. Can you please donate 5 minutes, your phone and your voice https://www.facebook.com/events/100475593476242/

An online petition has 9000 signatories.

#burgeroff has also been a popular hashtag for spreading the word. Freiheitdance (Kari) has even claimed a famous son for the area:

‏@freiheitdance: #JulianAssange used to live in Tecoma & Emerald. Revolutionary folk start out here. I'm off to order my “No Tecoma Burger” now. #burgeroff

John Weiss has been a supporter of the McDonald’s going ahead. He has challenged its opponents on the Burgeroff website and used his Facebook page for this observation on the involvement of children in the campaign:

Wow, a bunch of grown ups harassing children. What a wonderful statement for your cause. Nothing more than child abuse from a group of school yard bullies!

The latest video, March against Maccas, captured the rally on March 2, 2013:

A crowd of approximately 3000 vowed that the “community stood united once again to declare that they won't ever back down from this fight”.

They are definitely not ‘lovin’ it'!

COMMENTS CLOSED: The comments thread in this post has been closed and a few comments have been deleted because they violated our commenting guidelines, contained personal attacks and had nothing to do with the story.
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1560253795 Esther Kelly

    I am disgusted that McDonalds has chosen to ignore over 1100 individuals who originally voted against the application to build, the council who UNANIMOUSLY rejected the proposal in front of a record crowd of 600 people, the 300 individuals who submitted objections to the VCAT appeal, the 9 out of 10 Tecoma residents that have been surveyed as being against this development, the 3,775 people that signed a petition for state parliament declaring they were against these developments in the hills, the 3,000 people that ‘Marched against Maccas’… and also the 9,045 people that have now signed a petition asking McDonalds to stay out Tecoma in the Dandenong Ranges.

    Shame on you McDonalds and shame on you Mr. James Currie (suggested franchisee) for continuing with this inappropriate development against community wishes.

    See: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/east/new-franchisee-of-proposed-tecoma-mcdonalds-hope-to-work-with-community/story-fngnvlxu-1226596215324

    Our community will not back down and will continue to fight you all the way. We promise this will be both a PR and financial ‘fail’ for both the corporation and any intended franchisee.

  • http://www.facebook.com/miranda.mueller.5 Miranda Mueller

    An enormous story of a community standing tall against corporate greed.
    So much community spirit.
    The Tecoma locals should be congratulated for running a respectful, peaceful campaign and McDonald’s need to understand that they’re not welcome in the hills.
    A public relations nightmare for them if they persist.
    Go Tecoma, the world is watching!

    • http://www.facebook.com/graeme.taylor.31 Graeme Taylor

      One only has to see the accusations flying here to know of it’s impact. By ignoring community wishes, ignoring council decisions, and taking it up to a tribunal, it is easy to see why maccas is such a dominant global force in farce food.

      • http://www.facebook.com/tatty80 Tat Rattis

        What McDonalds did was lawful. What the council did and what the protesters continue to do is not.

        • http://www.facebook.com/graeme.taylor.31 Graeme Taylor

          Are you saying that it is illegal for elected Councillors to vote against a MacDonalds ? Wow. How long have you worked for MacDonalds now Tat?

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            VCAT applied the law that the councillors voted against in the face of qualified expert advice from their own town planning department. Therefore their decision and vote was proven to be incorrect at law, therefore unlawful.

          • http://www.facebook.com/graeme.taylor.31 Graeme Taylor

            So are these lawbreakers being charged, these pesky councillors that voted against a MacDonalds? The gall of these people thinking that their opinions mattered, Again, JW, tthe MacDonalds regime shows it colours and prevents communities and local government from having any choice about developments occuring in their neighbourhood. Frightening.

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            If community choice were appropriate, discrimination would be rife. Could you see a Mosque being allowed in a predominantly Christian community? Or vice versa? That is why they base decisions on law not sentiment. This is just another example of why rational and lawful decisions need to me overseen and validated by an entity such as vcat.

          • http://www.facebook.com/graeme.taylor.31 Graeme Taylor

            Why then, has the Planning Minister just offered money to some local councils, Yarra Ranges being one, to better involve community choices and voices in preserving the significant cultural and environmental values of their area? Was it to prevent future inappropriate developments that threaten the strategic planning of specific areas?

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            The money is to prepare a discussion paper. Doesn’t actually change anything right now does it.. Not sure it will in the future. Just a political stunt to appease a vocal minority who made a little bit of noise. Personally I’d rather see the 3x $25k go to more beneficial services like homeless youth or community activities for youth, but hey, you hold on to that grant and wave it around like a hollow victory. Well done!

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1546735691 Merryn Griffiths

            Sure, why not a Mosque! Or a Synagogue! Or even a well thought out and planned play ground! But a McDonalds stenching up the area for hundreds of metres in every direction? Surely you have to agree that McDonalds produce one of the most foul odours known to man? It really is quite sickening.

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            Feel free to make an offer to buy the land off McDonalds. I heard you might need a few million to achieve your dream. Best of luck!

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1546735691 Merryn Griffiths

            Actually, no. The Paediatrician, Dr. Joel Freeman who actively sought out McDonalds to sell 3 of the 4 sites to, offered it to me for much, much less.

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            So had you accepted his offer this whole debacle could have been avoided Merryn? So it’s all your fault! Bet you’ll regret it now!

    • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.belmont.35 Lisa Belmont

      Too True :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

    Interesting you choose to quote me without speaking with me first. Allow me to clarify one thing. I DO NOT support McDonald’s. I support our right to choice in a society. McDonalds has followed existing legislation and broken no laws, unlike those who oppose this development. The area of proposed development is a commercially zoned shopping/business precinct along a main highway approximately 1km from a national park fringe. It is medium density urban housing with a high tourist focus. There is zero requirement for any businesses of this type to require permission to operate. The only requirement is to operate out of their purpose built store, they need to build it first, hence the local discontent. The protest movement has targeted the stores and business of a licensee based on nothing more than a belief they were taking on the franchise due to their contribution in a story by the ABC’s 7.30 report. The licensees employees, mainly young teens, were exposed to a passive protest based on harassment which many of them are not trained to deal with. In the face of criticism which included a condemnation for this type of campaign by the Media Director of GetUp.org, they went again to the store of this licensee who had only days before been reported as NOT taking on the store and harassed his staff. They then moved on to another store and repeated their harassment of teenagers who are not trained to deal with this type of behaviour. The protest movement justified their argument by saying that they deal with drunks etc at 3am. At 3am 15 and 16 year old kids aren’t working, only those over 18 are. Their protest targeted 7pm where mostly teens work, and this is disgusting! I get why they are upset. I get they don’t want it there. But targeting kids to get their message to a licensee who wasn’t even in the country at the time? These people need to look at their behaviour if they think humiliating kids and bullying them is appropriate conduct in our community in the face of high media scrutiny where such behaviour is considered repulsive and illegal. What if their own children were targeted in such a behaviour one day?

    • http://www.facebook.com/alex.legg1 Alex Legg

      Mr Weiss…. McDonalds is McDonalds, is McDonalds. No-one was ‘targeting’ kids, the target WAS, IS and will continue to BE, McDonalds Restaurant. The fact is, that this corporation and its accountables hide behind a front-line of young workers. Dialogue has been and continues to be, sought, but the men behind the scenes are not interested in coming forward. For the most part, ALL involved in the protest ARE aware that these young people are just pawns in the game and have been polite and civil in ordering their “No Maccas in Tecoma, please”. That type of behaviour? Yes it is an inconvenience (harassment is quite another thing), but that’s all it ever has been, it’s how people in a democratic society, who also wish to preserve and exercise THEIR freedom of choice, make their point, Mr Weiss.

      • http://www.facebook.com/tatty80 Tat Rattis

        If the target is McDonalds, then why consistently harass people working at McDonalds? Why harass innocent people on the street. Why target businesses in the local area?

        Why not target Subway? Or the pizza shop or any other fast food places in the hills. They are all as bad for you! Why not target 7/11. That is open 24/7. I always see the slurpie containers everywhere. Why are you focusing all the attention on McDonalds when clearly McDonalds has won through means of the law.

        What lawful protests has the anti mob done recently. I would love you to answer this because from what I know. Nothing at all.

        The protesters didn’t have permission from VicRoads to march on the road. The protesters have planned phone calls in the form of harassment. The protesters have harassed and bullied people working at the FTG and Boronia McDonalds stores.

        The email bombing of the McDonalds CEO of Aus.. That was illegal too..

        The posting of illegal placed signs and banners on power poles, street signs and buildings..

        The community garden, Where protesters misunderstood where the McDonalds was going. They took over land and planted a “garden” which they were never given permission to do so by the owner of the land. That land doesn’t even belong to McDonalds. Now the owner has to pay money to keep you lot off his property.

        So come on, we all want to hear 1 lawful protest attempt.

        Oh and before you say the gnomes.. Wrong again mister. They were illegally glues and fixed to street signs, buildings, bus shelters and other things the protesters did not own or had legal access to do so.

      • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

        Then why not target other businesses of the same type who employ teens and that present in the Dandenongs right now? And really, you are targeting a business and its employees for the sins of a government that created the legislation that permitted this. Your protest is misdirected and has so far achieved little if your intent was to get McDonalds to the meeting table. If you wanted to improve road safety and strengthen laws would you protest at the hoons or the legislators who actually make the difference? Continually barking up the wrong tree because you’ve picked a target that many people associate with a negative message. How about you send the government (both state and local) a message to fix the laws. Until they change there is nothing stopping any other business from doing the same!

        • http://www.facebook.com/graeme.taylor.31 Graeme Taylor

          I have been reading these comments about young workers being “harrassed”. From the videos of such events, I’ve seen very polite drivers stop at a maccas drive through, and when asked “What do you want to order” have politely replied, “I want no macdonalds in tecoma please”. To label such polite “civil disobedience” as HARRASS suggests that it may disturb the workers who are not trained to deal with such a request. One could call it harrass, or one could call it de-programming, depending on one’s beliefs I guess.

          • http://www.facebook.com/tatty80 Tat Rattis

            Graeme, what the video’s have not shown have been the abuse towards the managers and works when they have been asked politely to move on. Video is easy to edit out all the bad points.

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            How you are percieved is in the eyes of the person. I know for fact that crew members at the store felt intimidated and insecure knowing they were to be targeted by the protest movement. This placed children under undue stress through the voluntary actions of adults who should know better and make every effort to protect children from mental anguish and emotional harm. I have no issue with other forms of your protest so long as they are lawful and don’t involve children.

      • http://www.facebook.com/kit.molloy Kit Molloy

        Would it not be more sensible to direct your protest to local councilor Samantha Dunn and the shire of Yarra Ranges for failing to future-proof the area from this sort of development, Alex?
        McDonald’s has adhered to the council’s own planning statutes and as such, has been a logical and foreseeable consequence of council’s inactivity and short-sightedness.

    • Kevin_Rennie

      I don’t usually speak to those I quote in these weblogs as they are public statements. In fact it seemed that you would appreciate getting your comment aired as you had also posted it on the burgeroff.com website.

      I did not mean to say that you support McDonald’s, only that you support this proposal going ahead. This thread gives you the opportunity to clarify your thoughts. If you don’t wish to be quoted in any future posts please let me know.

      • http://www.facebook.com/tatty80 Tat Rattis

        Ok Kevin, We have seen how you have outlined the protesters comments and how they feel. How about you also add to your story about the unlawful acts the protesters have done to get to where they are today. If the protesters had protested lawfully, I don’t think there would be so much of a divided community as there is. Lawful is the only way to go.

        • Kevin_Rennie

          Tat, great to see that you and others are doing a good job of adding another side to the story. It was not easy to find social media on both sides of the topic. Had I found the Yes to Tecoma McDonalds Facebook page earlier I would have linked to and quoted from it. I should indicate that the language may offend some people.

          • http://www.facebook.com/tatty80 Tat Rattis

            Kevin, I am more than happy along with John and others to write you up a piece for you. In regards to the lawful or more so unlawful behaviour of the “no group”, along with pointing out the promises that were made to the community by a certain Greens councilor in their hope to win/buy the support from the “No Group”.

            If you are willing to be unbiased in all of this. We are more than happy to give our side of events.

          • Kevin_Rennie

            I would be happy to add something as an update or link, provided it fits within Global Voices guidelines. Any personal views I may have should be immaterial to providing appropriate balanced coverage.

          • http://www.facebook.com/tatty80 Tat Rattis

            Kevin, I will have the “Pro Choice” group write something up and I’ll contact you with it. How much you choose to publish will be up to you.

            We will provide facts, true figures. Interviews from local shops within Tecoma. Outlining the lawful and unlawful acts. Among other issues that arises from this entire situation.

          • Kevin_Rennie

            My intention at this stage is to add an update to the post with a link to any contribution you may organise (provided of course it fits within GVO guidelines). I suggest that you put your detailed case on a website, blog or facebook page so that it can be linked to.

      • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

        Kevin, no issue with being quoted. And yes, you are correct that I have been supportive of this development, but only because it has followed a lawful and accepted practice we all have the right to access and use. I am not supportive of McDonalds directly. I have my own opinions on this matter which are derived through personal exposure being married to someone who once worked as a Store Manager for a licensee and also now works in an admin role for the parent company of a licensee who has 4 stores. I see the good and the bad. YES, there is bad! (Just not as bad as these blinded protestors make it out!). I’ve been subjected to threats and abuse simply because I advocate lawful compliance and appropriate protest targeting which doesnt include directly exposing teenagers or children to risk/intimidation/harassment. Irrespective of the intent of this movement, many many teens suffer from bullying and may be quite fragile. The risk this type of humiliation (which included Esther Kelly posting her humiliation of crew at stores on Facebook) can have potentially dire consequences to their state of mind. These people don’t seem to care who they victimise in the pursuit of their biased agenda.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1560253795 Esther Kelly

          Thankyou for confirming that you are indeed stalking my movements on facebook Mr. Weiss. For the record I blocked you and your nasty diatribe months ago in an effort to focus my attention on the campaign against this ‘inappropriate development’ in Tecoma. Just a quick note to address the accusations you posted above… the drive through action we have employed to lobby the intended franchisees for the Tecoma stores have always been non-threatening and non-violent (as all our action have been to date). I have personally discussed this action with staff and management at the stores and can confirm that no young people were harmed during the act of our campaigners ordering a ‘No McDonalds in Tecoma’ via the drive through. With all your ‘insider knowledge’ you would no doubt know that these young folk have to deal with far more distressing situations quite regularly. Stop peddling your ‘spin’ Mr. Weiss, our eyes are open wide and no-ones buying it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brad.brownbill Brad Brownbill

    Thanks Kevin – you’ve captured some of the greatest moments where I have felt part of such a great community

    .

    • http://www.facebook.com/tatty80 Tat Rattis

      Which part of the community are you referring to brad. The one where the protesters use kids in their protests? Or the protesters showing kids it’s ok to break the law? Or the part where if you don’t get your way you will defame, harass and bully others until you feel justice is done. Last I checked, no one in Tecoma is the Judge, Jury or Executioner.

      McDonald’s won this. Instead of staying on this, why not focus your energy on something to prevent it from happening again with other takeaway restaurants.

      • http://www.facebook.com/michael.d.cecco Michael Di Cecco

        That’s a great idea! What have you done or are doing to prevent other takeaways coming into the hills?

        • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

          Nothing. Because we don’t oppose progress and choice. But the brand bias that is highly evident just shows this isnt about fast food for you guys either!

          • http://www.facebook.com/michael.d.cecco Michael Di Cecco

            Nothing? Interesting. Say no more.

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            Reality is Michael, I don’t oppose takeaway food because I can choose whether or not I want to go there. Just because I don’t like something, doesnt mean I have the right to say they cant open up their stores somewhere. Personally, I don’t like Red Rooster but does that give me the right to oppose them setting up? My choice is to eat at home because I gain satisfaction cooking my own food and sharing with my family. Most fast food is over priced and only for convenience nowdays anyhow.

          • http://www.facebook.com/jon.lindsey.790 Jon Lindsey

            So why are you the most vocal “crusader” for maccas?

      • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.belmont.35 Lisa Belmont

        Hmmmm with the offensive sign you had at the protest in the presence of children I hardly think you are one to pull the concerned for children card ha ha ha

        • http://www.facebook.com/tatty80 Tat Rattis

          Children would NOT have understood it unless a parent had explained it to them. The sign didn’t have swearing on it. It was given the all clear by the police. So it couldn’t have been THAT bad. I didn’t break any laws.

          • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.belmont.35 Lisa Belmont

            What did it say again?? if its not offensive Im sure you will be happy to share…it was photographed at the time I think….and yes…children can read from a young age and there were children of all ages there.

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            Yes, it was photographed and then posted to a facebook page of a public figure who supports the anti cause. This photo was then subjected to some vile allegations against the subject of the image that are in their basis without fact and are slanderous. The disgusting conduct of those who commited libel on that thread is subject to further action. Looking forward to the fall out on this one. Might be another local election necessary after this one hits the media. Just another example of the lack of purpose within the anti movement. Attack the person to diminish them. I’m sure having a go at him is going to make McDonalds change their mind and the State Government change the planning laws. Keep up the great work!

          • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.belmont.35 Lisa Belmont

            I hardly think you can consider this bloke a victim when he rocked up to a protest with an offensive sign amongst an entire community and their kids when he was doing his best to cause trouble. Our community are bigger than that, you wouldnt know because you are not from here but its not like the western suburbs where you live, people are peaceful and supportive of one another

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            So what I am hearing is that you are saying its ok to accuse someone of pedophilia simply because they have made a comment you find personally distasteful, even though it is a false accusation that has the no truth to it? Well done Lisa.

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            And Lisa, you always seems to neglect to recall that while I may now reside in Werribee, I am in fact “from there” as you so often like to claim incorrectly. I lived in Belgrave, went to kinder at Belgrave, school in Tecoma and Upwey. First job at the Belgrave Newsagency delivering papers. Worked at the Belgrave Pool during their open seasons for 4 years. Was a volunteer at the Belgrave Fire Brigade for a few years also. So tell me, where did you grow up Lisa? What are your ties to the community of post code 3160? Just another example of how much you THINK you know about me, but just serves to prove how little you actually do! But hey, lets keep up the smear campaign against me, that will change the laws and get maccas to stop the development won’t it!

          • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.belmont.35 Lisa Belmont

            Oh dear what a rant – You clearly John hear what you want to hear and not anything true. Telling lies will not get you anywhere in life – you are not worth the wasted energy honesty People dont have to respond to your nonsense – this is not a debate and I dont particularly care what you think or want to be honest. I care about our community and my home and the sensitive National Park envioronment that is the Dandenong Ranges. No McDonalds anywhere in the Dandenongs!

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            Telling Lies Lisa? May I ask what lie I have told in my response above? And for someone who doesn’t care, you seem to spend a lot of time antagonising people.

  • Melinda Carey

    I am a passionate local appalled at the thought of a McDonald’s in my
    town. Not only because of the undemocratic way in which they have
    attempted to bully their way in, but because this ‘outlet’ proposes to
    be built opposite my children’s Primary school, and a PreSchool, and
    plans to be built not 800m from our National Park (we have
    Lyrebirds/Playtypus’ in the area). There is scant support for this
    development, and many many thousands against. McDonald’s have
    underestimated the determination and dedication of the people opposed to
    this, and they will struggle every step of the way if they persist.

    • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

      Interesting you stipulate “McDonalds” solely yet neglect to mention existing fast food convenience restaurants already in the Dandenongs who contribute to all those things you accuse McDonalds of as was seen recently in photos of litter at the Belgrave Rail Station. A very high representation of branded litter yet not one condemnation of the other brands. More examples of brand bias methinks?

    • http://www.facebook.com/kit.molloy Kit Molloy

      Let’s look at that word ‘bully’ shall we, Melinda?.
      McDonald’s has followed the appropriate legal protocols in getting it’s building permit on that site.No permission is needed whatsoever for the company to operate there in an existing building.
      Is that bullying? No.
      The anti McDonald’s brigade have consistently harassed the young people working in local McDonald’s franchises (See Esther Kelly’s petulant and childish videos). They’ve committed themselves to a campaign of harassment via phone and email to McDonald’s head office and local franchises. They’ve entered into campaigns of libel and slander against McDonald’s Australia on the company’s own Facebook page.
      If that’s not bullying, then what the hell is?

  • http://www.facebook.com/kit.molloy Kit Molloy

    Contrary to what some opponents might believe, there has in fact been very little opposition to the McDonald’s development in Tecoma. The shire represents 145 thousand plus residents, yet only 1,100 objections were submitted to council. The ensuing VCAT appeal heard only 300 objections.
    The immediate catchment area of the proposed outlet accommodates 30,000 residents (Upwey > Belgrave Sth. > Monbulk), yet relatively few in that region have actively involved themselves in any form of protest. At best, most locals could be said to be indifferent to the development.

    While I sympathise with those who resent the encroachment of suburbia into the area, It can’t be denied that Tecoma now presents a very urban aspect. Thirty plus years of residential development has transformed the area through to Belgrave from a series of small logging towns, into part of the greater urban conurbation of Melbourne.
    It’s precisely because of this urbanisation, and more specifically the residents who have built and moved there that the area is now attracting increased interest from large convenience outlets such as McDonald’s, amongst others. In other words, there are those in the vocal minority of opponents to McDonald’s who want their cake and to eat it too.

    • http://www.facebook.com/graeme.taylor.31 Graeme Taylor

      The shire already has very suburban areas that feature the wonderful cultural iconography of a maccas outlet, however, the Dandenong Ranges, an area of immense natural beauty, which makes up a small portion of the shire, does not have any such farce food outlets. That’s why there are protests.There were 3000 marching earlier this month. Did you know that the 30,000 (your estimate) residents in the hoped for catchment of this proposal, already eat food, and most times, food food, not meal replacement stuff, and as to the “small logging towns” of thirty years ago that you mention. Where was this?.

      • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

        Graeme, I beg to differ. Subway is a fast food convenenience restaurant of global presense and has more stores than McDonalds. It has 24 hr and Drive Through operations also. I’m yet to hear anyone bleat about them? Just serves to prove this is a brand centric protest driven by people who are behind the Occupy Melbourne movement.

      • http://www.facebook.com/kit.molloy Kit Molloy

        Graeme, The positioning of the McDonald’s development along Burwood Hwy is entirely in keeping and consistent within the shopping precinct of Tecoma The building is understated and unobtrusive in design and in fact, is much more attractive than the many fast food outlets that already line the road. If it can be believed that there were in fact 3000 marchers at the recent rally, then that number still represents only a small percentage of the population of the shire (145 Thousand), or the Dandenong Ranges itself. This cannot be disputed. The outlet will not be operating from a wombat hole in the national park, contrary to what you might envision.
        Tecoma started as a logging town, much like neighboring Upwey and Belgrave. The rail line along which Puffing Billy now travels was built for that purpose. The town has morphed over the years with increased residential population to the point where it now represents little more than the outer edge of suburban Melbourne.
        Had your argument been about protecting Monbulk, Sassafras or Kallista against this sort of development I may have agreed with you. As it stands, there’s little to differentiate Tecoma from many other similar outlying residential suburbs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tatty80 Tat Rattis

    @Esther Kelly

    I’m disgusted in the behaviour shown by you and all the other protesters. A ruling has been made. Just because you don’t agree with it. You and your band of somewhat disturbing ribbon fairies and other jerks offs have broken law after law after law. How about you go play by the law for once and protest without committing a crime, no matter how big or small you feel it is.

    The Seaford community won because they did things lawfully, Healesville community won because they did things lawfully.. Do you see a pattern here? Maybe instead of break the law, teach kids its ok the break the law. You may have gotten your message across further.

    The day the bulldozers come I expect Belgrave, Monbulk & Knox Police to be extremely busy arresting you all.

    You and your “protesting” friends are nothing better than those who graffiti trains and buildings. You have no respect for others or other peoples property.

    Your time will come.. Just you wait.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jon.lindsey.790 Jon Lindsey

      Your disgusted? Your the one who had a large sign at the protest march with “Mcdonalds is coming so suck a fat one” on it, in full view of women and children whilst wearing a bear suit, which would attract the attention of every kid there! And calling us fairies, Mr Greaves

      • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

        Oh Jon, back to make more threats are you? Really? Haven’t you learned it’s not appropriate to threaten violence yet?

        • http://www.facebook.com/jon.lindsey.790 Jon Lindsey

          I hope I’ve taught you its not appropriate to abuse women and old people who have “made their choice” to oppose maccas! But your all for freedom of choice!

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            Jon, the only person I saw making threats to an older person was you pal. You got shut down by me and whimped out .. LOL

          • http://www.facebook.com/jon.lindsey.790 Jon Lindsey

            I understand that is what you try to do, shut people down by abusing them, make them stop protesting, but its their choice! Your the one abusing people, I only asked you to tone it done, change your tactics! As for wimping out, I asked to meet you, we all know who wimped out!

          • http://www.facebook.com/tatty80 Tat Rattis

            You did Jon. Infact John and myself told you exactly where we were one Saturday night. Invited you to come out and have a chat. You never showed.

          • http://www.facebook.com/jon.lindsey.790 Jon Lindsey

            How about we have a chat now Tatie!!!

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            LOL, all talk again Jon. You know where I am sunshine. We all know how you like to pick on the vulnerable like an elderly man with his own opinions on things yet when given the chance, you never replied to my response to your threats at me. Then I blocked you because you were all talk, just like you are again this time.

          • http://www.facebook.com/jon.lindsey.790 Jon Lindsey

            I could kill you with one punch!

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            LOL, you had your chance little Jonny.. I even gave you my phone number and address. You are all bluff Jon. You always have been and you always will be. Nothing but a self admitted convicted drug dealer and your comment above just shows to prove what type of thug you are. LOL

          • http://www.facebook.com/jon.lindsey.790 Jon Lindsey

            If you would like to do it legal, we could go in a ring, your choice of style!

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            quite happy to oblige Jonny. quite happy.

          • http://www.facebook.com/jon.lindsey.790 Jon Lindsey

            Are you free saturday?

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            Nup, am spending time doing things with my family. You wouldnt know much about that since yours walked out on you would you Jon. A few domestic violence issues I hear.

          • http://www.facebook.com/jon.lindsey.790 Jon Lindsey

            Me and my ex are best of friends john!

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            Yeah, sure you are. Thats why she is your EX! So far we have you in the following categories.. Convicted Drug Dealer, Threats to Kill, Domestic Violence, Stalking & Harassment. Anymore you want to add to your wall of shame Jon? Just remember, the world is seeing this! LOL

          • http://www.facebook.com/jon.lindsey.790 Jon Lindsey

            Just last night I went out for dinner for her kids birthday!

      • http://www.facebook.com/tatty80 Tat Rattis

        “Your time will come, just you wait.”

        Meaning when McDonalds opens I’ll be there supporting it, eating it and laughing at you all.

        As for owning a place in Tecoma, I actually do. An investment property. It’s currently being leased. Once ive had it for a while and once McDonalds moves in. Me and my business partner will be applying to demolish the house and put up a block of units.

        Oh no more development in the hills.

        As for you calling me gay. Even if I was gay, you would be the last poor excuse for a man I would go for. I have taste.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1546735691 Merryn Griffiths

          If that’s really what you meant, Mr. Greaves, then why not state that in the beginning?

          Such a comment as, “Your time will come, just you wait.”, could only be construed to imply one thing and one thing only – A THREAT.

          Nice to see your back peddling techniques in action. Keep up the spin. You’re doing us a favour! ;)

          • http://www.facebook.com/tatty80 Tat Rattis

            Merryn, You can all take it as you wish. If you wish to view it as a threat. Take a screen shot and take it to the police. They will laugh at you and tell you to go away and stop wasting their time.

        • http://www.facebook.com/jon.lindsey.790 Jon Lindsey

          More lies! The fact that your gay isn’t why everyone hates you, its cause your an obnoxious fat pig! I was at the pub recently, and some people were discussing you, so we created a ” lets fix Tat Greaves group!”The ironic thing is the group your attacking, the anti macaas movement has actually saved your neck, that’s right, they don’t want anything to happen to you because it will look bad on them, they want a peaceful protest! You should be hoping it”s not built to soon! YTWC JYW!!!

          • http://www.facebook.com/kit.molloy Kit Molloy

            So this is the type of protesters you are? Threats of violence and gay slurs? Disgusting. Keep it civil or go away.

          • http://www.facebook.com/jon.lindsey.790 Jon Lindsey

            I don’t need to lie, Fat Tat the Rat is gay! Its ok for him to write that I sell drugs to kids, people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones! I’m not a protester, I have no affiliation with any group! Recently I liked the no maccas page! I only got involved because John and Alan were abusing girls and old people I know on the maccas FB page! They thought they would target me so I’d do something illegal, and that would make the anti group look bad! They are still trying to provoke me!One old lady wrote, “please Mcdonalds, stay out of Tecoma”. John called her”filth!” Two other girls were abused,I wasn’t going to just sit back and let them get away with it!

          • http://www.facebook.com/kit.molloy Kit Molloy

            But you’ve admitted you’re a drug dealer? I hope you aren’t proud of that.

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            What’s even better Jon has alluded to responsibility for some home invasions and bashing people who have slighted him during his discussions with me. All an effort to make veiled threats and intimidate people with his violent potential. He was criticised for his aggressive comments by a prolific anti maccas contributor on the McDonalds FB page yet he keeps on keeping on with the same old behaviours. Recidivism is obviously a huge risk in his case as he continues to demonstrate his aggressive potential in many of his comments which include “I could kill you with one punch” in reply to one of my comments. Now he contributes on the No McDonalds in the Dandenong Ranges group. I’m sure they need his type of credibility and personality advertising and helping their cause. His lies are a smoke screen to what is his true intent. He has stated he is not an anti supporter, so what is his goal and motivation other than just to satisfy his violent and criminal inclinations?

  • Brian

    Nice work. Tells our story – passionate locals who oppose the fact that themselves and their elected council can be over ruled by an unelected State body and a bullying Corporation with deep pockets and no respect. Even if Maccas build it, the fight will continue, but actually we may still have a chance at staring down this development – wait and see!

    • http://www.facebook.com/tatty80 Tat Rattis

      Brain, what the council and Samantha Dunn at the beginning was wrong. Lawfully McDonalds had the right to build from the start. Samantha Dunn should NOT have promised McDonalds wouldn’t be built. The council didn’t even follow the zoning code. By them saying no from the start they were wrong. McDonalds took the lawful approach to the situation. This is why VCAT said yes. So how about you tell us again where McDonalds has broken any laws.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kit.molloy Kit Molloy

      Brian, what have you or the ‘anti’ group done to prevent similar commercial developments further up in the hills? Have you exerted the same pressure on local Lyster ward Cr. Samantha Dunn to act on zoning issues, or reprimanded her for her inactivity on those same issues during her first term as councilor?

  • Brian

    Oh by the way – Tecoma has around 2000 residents, 1100 of whom turned up to the Council meeting that rejected McDonalds application. That was me and my neighbors, I’m proud to say.

    • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

      Brian, I can assure you the 1100 objections were not from Tecoma solely. And 1100 people did not attend the council meeting, it was approx 600 as reported many many times by the protest movement. Stop misrepresenting the truth! And you people wonder why the movement has lost credibility?

      • Brian

        Actually John, I was at the meeting and most of my neighbours were there. We live in Tecoma and I can tell you that’s the truth because I saw it with my own eyes. People power, sure and simple.

        • http://www.facebook.com/tatty80 Tat Rattis

          Brian. can you admit that the protesters actions have not been as lawful as people make them out to be. Again Heavsville & Seaford won their battles through lawful ways. Why do you think the Tecoma fight is failing time after time after time for Tecoma?

          • Brian

            We did win legally by attending and petitioning our local council who voted to reject the McDonalds proposal. McDonalds then had our councils decision overturned at VCAT. The Council then decided not to take it to the Supreme Court. Our community protests are successful and well attended and we have successfully stared down one franchisee and will attempt to see off the latest as well.

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            I’m not sure you can call a decision just prior to statewide local council elections made by councillors shoring up their own political ambitions contrary to expert advice a “win” Brian. But hey, if that’s the only hollow victory you can cling to in this, keep on clinging little buddy!

          • Brian

            Just stating the facts. I guess you can choose to put whatever spin on them you feel inclined or somehow motivated to.

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            Well, considering VCAT is part of a Judicial Process and is there as a body to review decisions made by government agencies and bodies, I struggle how you can call a decision being overturned because it was at its basis incorrect at law a win? Reality is ill concede your small victory because overall it isn’t going to change the end outcome in this.

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            Ummm, by the way can I ask when you have actually met with Howard Armitage and “stared” him down? Once more a well spun claim of victory based upon an assumption he was going to take on the franchise simply because he appeared in a news item. Where has it ever been directly reported as a quote from Mr Armitage that he was in the running for this store or is this just another of the multitudes of carefully targeted myths to maintain the rage by having a scapegoat to target and tar? Prove to me with validated evidence from a mainstream media source and/or a response from McDonalds Australia. We all know you can’t and this is just another falsehood from a diminishing movement.

        • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

          Then you better correct all those who have reported the inaccurate figures like Esther Kelly. There were NOT 1100 people at the council meeting. Get your facts correct Brian lest you end up with egg on your face.

          • Brian

            I was there and I counted. No egg here mate.

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            1100 people at the council meeting Brian? Really? Then you must be right at everyone else in the protest movement and the local media is wrong. Keep on looking like a fool pal.

          • Brian

            I was there John, were you? I’m an eye witness. Are you calling me a liar?

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            Yup.

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            Are you going to call Councillor Samantha Dunn and the Greens Party liars? They reported 600 in attendance at the council meeting? http://vic.greens.org.au/content/no-maccas-tecoma-council-refuses-application-cr-samantha-dunn

          • Brian

            Well thanks for that – 1100 objections. Pretty good turn out in my book.

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            Yet another article to dispel your statement. Are you going to tell the media they lied http://free-press-leader.whereilive.com.au/news/story/tecoma-maccas-rejected-by-yarra-ranges-council/

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            SO, now your credibility as an “eyewitness” is zero, what does that mean for the rest of your claims now Brian? Over exaggerated a bit maybe? I suppose once again you cling to 1100 objections from a municipality of over 145,000 residents and expect that to actually mean something? Tells me that 143,900 +/- people in Yarra Ranges Shire don’t object to McDonalds in Tecoma.

          • Brian

            Good one John, this is also a nice article. I particularly like this comment from “Some guy” made to the piece “For example, as of the 2006 census, only 2,189 people lived in Tecoma, and only around 1,600 of them were actually adults. Therefore, the fact that 1100 objections were received is absolutely incredible! Even if we assume for arguments sake that half of those objections came from people living in Upwey and Belgrave, it remains the case that a third of Tecoma’s adult residents made objections. Furthermore, for every person who wrote an objection, there are many more who oppose it but never got around to writing a formal objection, which means the NO case has a clear majority. On top of that, there are a fair few people who don’t care either way. So, that leaves a VERY small number of people who actually support the development. So who are the vocal minority, exactly?”

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            Once again, I’ll explain this to you (slowly, so you can understand). Objections were not limited to residents of Tecoma or even the Shire of Yarra Ranges. Any resident of Victoria may lodge an objection of a planning permit application in this state. Objections under planning legislation are an opt in system therefore it is assumed that if you don’t object, you are in favour. If you can show me the proof of your assertion that these figures you claim are accurate, then I stand corrected. So far I’m the one who has been right when it comes to reporting facts and backing it up with evidence. Can you meet the challenge?

          • Brian

            You’ll have to take this up with someone who understands Council procedure, I don’t claim to be an expert in that area, nor do I claim to speak for the Council. I was merely posting a copy of a comment made from the newspaper article you supplied the link for. I would suggest that you contact the Council to find out if the figures you need are correct.

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            Having already had these discussions with council and read the TVAG diary of the VCAT hearing along with the VCAT decision document, I can assure you I’m well versed and assured that my information is most reliable. Reality is that you have your beliefs and I have my facts. At the end of the day, McDonalds commences construction in about 5 weeks.

          • Brian

            Oh well, that will be a real bummer since the construction work on the Burwood Highway, just at that bottleneck, will definitely worsen an already atrocious traffic situation. Tough on us local residents especially since we never wanted the building in the first place! I suppose that’s where facts get you, personally, I prefer to act on my beliefs and values.

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            Brian, what difference was there to traffic then they build the tilt slab monstrosity occupied by DVD destination or the several tenancies in the one tilt slab building up the road a little? It will be a blip on the reader in the scheme of things. People will adjust and cope. That’s life. We are thrown curve balls all the time and we cope. Do I agree that disruption is fair? Not really, but it’s not the end of the world. In all honesty, I share similar values and beliefs to many of you, but I also recognise that this business has a lawful right to do what they do and have done nothing wrong other than in the eyes of those who have their own agendas in this. If you don’t like the facts, campaign to change the laws that permitted this and stop attacking me and my right to offer my experience and opinion based on my understanding of the business being opposed. Abusing me or McDonalds isn’t going to stop the next opportunistic fast food chain from doing the same thing now is it?

  • CathMR

    The comments on this page are reflecting the level of passion this topic holds for the little hills communities of the Dandenong Ranges.

    We surveyed every resident of Tecoma we could reach, and there was a staggering 9 out of every ten residents against this development.

    Nothing affirmed for me that the community was against this development as strongly as the warm and emotional reception I received from the people of Tecoma during that survey. In the 2 hours I knocked on doors not one person wanted to see this building 800 metres from a National Park, 200 metres from a primary school and kinder and on a bottleneck intersection. We would welcome the council or others to carry out a similar survey.

    The passion in this tiny community was again reflected in the 3000 people who marched against McDonalds two weeks ago.

    It is not too late to save the Dandenong Ranges and one only has to step off the Burwood highway to find the community and beautiful treed streets of Tecoma. There is also plenty of community and creativity on th emain street :)

    The campaign to save the hills from corporatisation is far from over and the little townships are uniting to stop it.

    I’m inspired and grateful for the connections and intelligent community that has grown out of this campaign. We are more determined than ever to stop this development and to lobby for changes to planning laws to protect the hills in future.

    • http://www.facebook.com/tatty80 Tat Rattis

      Save from corporations? I think you are too late.

      Metro Trains, Subway, BP, 7/11, Big Als Pizza, Woolworths etc etc etc. The list goes on and on.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kit.molloy Kit Molloy

      The infamous survey in question was lacking in any credibility, Cath.
      It was conducted by partisan activists, selectively composed and worded to achieve a predetermined result in favour of your views. Had the survey been conducted by an impartial third party (KPMG for example), it may have had some historical interest, yet still wouldn’t have affected the legal and sovereign right of the company to build and operate on that site.

      • CathMR

        The survey was carried out by partisan activists who are calling for an impartial third party to carry out their own survey because we are confident that our results were valid.

        The Dandenong Ranges are one of the top tourist destinations in Victoria.

        The McDonalds Corporation is proposing opening a 24 hour drive thru restaurant on the route buses take to and from top tourist destinations. The restaurant is estimated to be able to serve over 2000 people daily. There are just over 2000 people in Tecoma. This is a case of a corporation turning up to destroy what they are coming to take advantage of.

        The fall out of a large multinational opening in little Tecoma spells disaster for their small businesses, in particular their locally owned chicken shop & their fish & chippy.

        Our current ‘local’ government is more ‘regional’ than ‘local’. The current shire covers areas as diverse as Mooroolbark, Lilydale, Warburton, Yarra Valley and Healesville as well as the Dandenong Ranges.

        The struggle to save these beautiful hills began way back when colonialists first began loving them to death with sycamores, blackberries, foxes, rabbits and ivy- choking out the indigenous plants and wildlife.

        The ending of the ‘Shire of Sherbrooke’ by Kennett in the 90s, and the merging into an unwieldy regional ‘Shire of Yarra Ranges’ govt which does not reflect the concerns of its constituents, did not make its constituents concerns disappear. The Dandenong Ranges are still a geographical and cultural reality. People who live here know where they live and why they have chosen to live here.

        This campaign is an example of the continuing love and concern that hills people have for their home. This love and concern cant be railroaded away by Kennett, by VCAT or by McDonalds. McDonalds have provided us with the focal point we need to rally, protect what we have, lobby to change the planning regime and improve for the future. No. Maccas. In. The. Hills.

        • http://www.facebook.com/tatty80 Tat Rattis

          People were in fear of stating that supported McDonalds because the protesters had their name, their address. With the threats the protesters had made towards community members. People said They didn’t more or just agreed with the survey to avoid issues further down the track or having their families threatened.

          Again we called for an independent group to run the survey. Peta Freeman claimed there was not enough money to do it that way. In other words the money from the tshirts, cd’s and donations go elsewhere to fuel the lies and bullshit the No Group support and force on others.

          • CathMR

            as an artist who contributed to that cd I have full trust and confidence in the No Maccas in the hills group to use proceeds effectively. I hope people enjoy the cd- I think its awesome

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1546735691 Merryn Griffiths

            Bought my copy of the No Maccas In Tecoma – Resistance is Fertile CD today and absolutely LOVIN’ IT!!!

          • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.belmont.35 Lisa Belmont

            Ha ha ha now thats just being silly lol…..no need for the drama queen card I think we all know thats not true…your nose is growing again

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            funny how the only thing you can offer in rebuttal is an insult. doesn’t actually address the allegation now does it?

        • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

          Many businesses continue to flourish and coexist with McDonalds and many other fast food franchise operations because they have a different offer. Talking about the demise of businesses in Tecoma simply due to the presence of McDonalds is utter speculation without basis. Did the opening of Subway in Belgrave impact on the Pizza Shop, Fish & Chip Shop etc?? More doom and gloom without validation.

          • CathMR

            does your wife work for a franchisee?

          • http://www.facebook.com/weissjr John Weiss

            Does that diminish the fact that many businesses continue to flourish and coexist with McDonalds and many other fast food franchise operations because they have a different offer. Or does the fact that she works in an admin capacity suddenly mean that fish and chip shops all over Melbourne are about to go under?

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