Opponents celebrate Maccas’ failure

Games were organised at the party. Photos: CONTRIBUTED

IT WAS a different kind of celebration.
What should have been the official opening of the Tecoma McDonald’s restaurant was a time for those against the controversial development to celebrate that it was still not open.
No Maccas in the Hills supporters attended the NOPE Party at Fatspace, including Yarra Ranges councillor Samantha Dunn and local MP James Merlino.
The party on Sunday 24 November not only contained speeches but also had some fun attached to it with a guest appearance from a “corporate clown” who spoke on in support of the project before ending up with a “cake in the face” courtesy of some local children.
“The community remains strong in standing up to McDonald’s who want to bully their way into the Tecoma community,” event spokesperson Garry Muratore said.
“The negative PR that this project has caused McDonald’s will see a generation turn their back on the brand not only here in Tecoma but around the country.”
The Change.org petition, which is one of the largest Change.org has facilitated in Australia at 102,000 signatures can be found at www.change.org/burgeroff.

  • Alan Coutinho-Hogan

    Interesting to note the leaders of the green/labor alliance cr Dunn and MP Merlino were there to encourage people(at most 50 attended including kids) to stop or slow down busines growth in the hills,a legitimate business that is going to provide much needed employment oppertunities around the Tecoma area. NOT a good message for our local represntatives to be sending out to promote business to move into the hills. In fact any business seeing these two in action would probably now choose to go to another Shire.

    • Helen

      Alan that is how to look at what it provides without looking at the consequences. Yes it will provide local jobs, do you know anyone that does or has ever worked at McDonalds. They are a profit before the people organisation. They make themselves look great with charity this and charity that, but they treat their staff poorly and pay them poorly as well. So hmmm you would like to send your kids to work there to get used, not me, I don’t. It will attract a new kind of people to the hills, the kind you don’t want, a new place to do burnouts, because lets face it, how quick would the cops get there anyway. Extra rubbish flying through the hills because for some reason quite a lot of people who purchase “food” at McDonalds were never taught what a bin was for. You will find that mostly with their branded rubbish Australia wide. There’s the other thing “food” is it really? Why can a McDonalds burger still look the same a week after it’s been purchased (apart from the obvious, like lettuce and tomato) hmmm got to be some great stuff in those. Obesity, we have enough in this country already, people hitting their 30’s are now getting diseases that really old people used to just get. The rate of diabetes 2 has rocketed, all due to the rubbish we consume. Extra people through the hills who have no regard for the place will also impact the flora and fauna of the area. You might not care about animal welfare, but I do, and I’d like my children and their children to enjoy the wildlife. So is McDonalds good for the area, no not to people who care about life, health, animals etc, is it another corporation who just want their own way and put profits before people, you bet. Drive the 10 – 15 minutes to Ferntree Gully and use their Maca’s, why does there have to be one in every suburb and every town.

      • Naomi Manson

        Omg….. Here we go again with the anti macca’s bashing…
        Seriously Alan, all the pro’s sound like a broken record.
        I’m surprised that your language on here isn’t full of expletives like is more of a daily occurance with you & many others.
        The majority of protesters are actually employed & pay taxes, which is in stark opposition to what the pro’s continually beat on about to anyone who’ll listen…. as well as many seniors, who’ve worked & paid taxes their whole lives.
        You never know, an earthquake may hit & the Macca’s being built could sink into oblivion where it belongs!
        Happy Christmas Alan! ;-D

        • Alan Coutinho-Hogan

          Naomi Manson if you want me to take your comments seriously dont talk rubbish.McDonalds will open in Tecoma soon you lot wont stop that from happening,because they have at all stages complied with the laws and regulations laid down by your local elected representatives.You may also like to stop sending me personel messages at 2.43 am.

      • Alan Coutinho-Hogan

        Why do you self rightious Zealots continue with your lies hate and division.This is not about your veiws on multi national corporations or your twisted veiws on what we should be eating or where we should shop.You mob have shown on many occasions that you are prepared to break laws and implement boycotts on local individuals and businesses. I say once again NO pro choice person has been before the courts in this matter,The only people that have been before the courts and in some cases convicted for crimes against our community.are people connected to the idiotic anti macca’s movement.Your political leaders have failed you here face up to the facts and the truth elect honest local representatives.Then we may have a more cohesive community instead of a community built on a minorioty hate cult.

      • or not

        Absolutely false information. I currently work as a legal secretary and I was paid more and had better working conditions and benefits (training etc) than when I worked at mcdonalds. I am on an hourly rate of $19.86 where I am now and at my time at mcdonalds I was paid $23 an hour, just as a normal wage, not a manager or anything. This was increased on weekends and I got double time and a half for public holidays. Plus I got provided with free nationally accredited certificates. I think you’re confusing Australian stores with American who have hugely different conditions because that’s how their governments system works. Minimum wage is in single digits and they consider most of the benefits we take for granted as luxuries.

      • Alan Coutinho-Hogan

        Helen nobody If you are going to talk such rubbish and lies at least have the courage to tell people who you are and what part of the green/labor alliance you belong to. Or have you allways been a coward.

      • Hills tourist

        Totally agree Helen. Why does Maccas want a store in every corner of the globe?Profits profits profits.12 kids am get a job but when they turn 18 they have to go out into the real world anyway. Maccas may sit well in the suburbs but not in country tourist areas. They are awe sores that generate rubbish from lazy drivers. Tourists won’t stop there only the nearby residents will. So to be on a tourist route is a joke. It’s a hideous obese looking structure already. A disaster in the Tecoma landscape. It doesn’t blend in as promised. Just like all the other things Maccas does they don’t care anyway

    • Heather

      Alan it was also very interesting to hear James ‘ the hills will be destroyed ‘ Merlino answer a question put forward to him on radio the other day, it was in regards to the thuggish unlawful actions of the east / west protesters. Merlino said he does not condone the unlawful actions of protesters, I nearly chocked when I heard that considering he has both condoned and supported the unlawful actions of protesters in Tecoma.

  • bill Davis


    As a business person, I know how important branding is. There is a McDonald’s less than 5 to 6 minutes from here. I think James Merlino has done a lot to bring local business to the Ranges, and this will not hurt him, or future business in the shire. I support many local businesses like the business that moved location so this corporate giant could come to Tecoma.

    There is a primary school right across the street, the overwhelming majority of residents do not want this project, and local government supported the local community in this effort. The decision was made by State Government as almost a rubber stamp, over-riding what local citizens wanted. I like doing business with a community, and business who do not listen to stakeholders, and who put profits before communities will not be sustainable.

    • Alan Coutinho-Hogan

      bill Davis I know without checking that your business depends on you supporting the anti macca’s movement.I would also hazard a guese judging by the way that you have just parroted the anti rubbish that you have not been around long enough to know that the former tenants on the new Macca’s site were given about two years notice to leave.Long before McDonalds even purchased the site.I believe the facts show what type of person you are.

  • Alan Coutinho-Hogan

    bill Davis you lost credability in you second paragraph by r repeating the consatnt lies that have been chanted be the anti mob of bullies for over a year now.Maybe you should take a closer look at how the system af planning aprovals opperates in this state,before you make crazy statements like the one you have just made.There is only one truth and what you chanting is not the truth.

  • Craig

    Protesters claim to care for the aesthetics of Tecoma but repeatedly engage in criminal defacement of private property for personal reasons.

    Criminal behaviour is not a legitimate form of peaceful protest.
    End this hypocrisy and set the right example for your children.

  • Heather

    Should’nt the headline for the article read ‘ A handful of diminishing opponents celebrate their unlawful behavior and destruction of businesses, as work on the new McDonalds in Tecoma progresses to the joy of the common sensed majority’.
    That really does sum it up and paints a far more factual picture : )
    Merry Christmas Pro Choicers not long now until we get to reclaim our suburb from the trouble makers and propaganda pushers. I hear there’s been a few buyers showing interest in the DVD Destination building too, non propaganda pushing, non protest supporting interest mind you. Ta ta fatspace : )

  • Yes in the hills

    To those who say that maccas pay poorly, please get your facts!
    It pays the SAME as a chick working at a clothes shop!!!!
    They are paid the same as any RETAILING business!!! Maccas has to (by LAW) follow the sames pay guidance as any retail!
    Maccas as a company don’t treat workers poorly it’s the MANAGERS at the store!
    What make maccas bullies? What, the fact that they have billions of dollars, and are able to buy what they want??? Oh boo whoo, I don’t see maccas standing out side the protests houses and stopping from them going to work! I don’t see them writing on your garden fences “hippies go home”!!
    Stop your winging and get over it!
    Everyone is so sick of it, find a tree and give it a hug!
    From a Tecoma residant!

  • michelle

    doesnt add up, thirty thousand residents in the catchment and what looked like thirty adults and twenty children attended.

    • Carl Segnit

      Yes michelle and James Merino (joke) addressing the not crowd was pitiful.

    • michelle

      plus a google of search words tecoma nope party brings up results of the party being promoted and invite to well anyone and everyone, from wherever. How can that be a representation of local community?

  • Alan Coutinho-Hogan

    The green/labor alliance of cr Dunn and MP merlino moved Quickly to get their party members to give my comment the thumbs down so it could not be seen. So much for the false statements put out by cr dunn about her being open and transperant. Only it seems if it is an untruth they certianly dont want the truth to be seen as is evidenced by their actions on this thread of comments. BwaHaHaHa they are a bunch of silly sausages.

    • Ex-Upwey Bloke

      Don’t want the truth to be seen, eh? That’s odd because at least four of the thumbs down today for your comment came from me and a couple of my friends, all of whom are ex-hills residents (vague disclosure, heh) and none of whom are in any way affiliated with any political party, let alone the mysterious and entirely mythical “Greens/Labor alliance” you seem to love spouting off about. Alliance? You’re obviously so blinded by your own biases that objective reality is denied to you.

      We just found it interesting that of the 24 comments on this item (prior to this one), fully 1/4 of them all are from you! In one of your comments above you talked about “self righteous zealots”, which seemed a bit rich from someone who seems to basically live on the comments section of anything connected with the anti-Maccas in Tecoma, posting left right and centre and frothing about left/labor conspiracies and the evil hippies (cos we all know the hippies are the winners and movers and shakers, right? They’re the ones with the real power – hahahah, oh dear me, are you serious? Really?)

      Even the notion of the mysterious power of labor/greens, in a state and federal landscape dominated by the Liberal/National party, where selling it all off to the highest bidder in pursuit of the almighty dollar overrides everything else – (though only marginally less than it did for the Labor party, it has to be said) – is some kind of sick joke.

      But you know, keep seeing reds/greens under the bed, if it helps you to feel better about yourself, and fuels your wacky little internal-monologue crusade.

      But you might want to ask yourself, why do you feel the need to be so pro-Maccas? Are you a shareholder? Or are you just a bitter wannabe, nursing a grievance about not being elected to the council? Where presumably you would have fought the good fight to rubber stamp the Maccas development, to save VCAT the trouble of doing so? (Did a quick search on your name just now, it was quite enlightening.)

      Looking at your Twunter feed you seem to devote an awful lot of time to being very anti-Labor, which is kind of amusing, given the Libs and the Labs are just two sets of political glove puppets operated by the same pair of private interest hands. It’s just that the Libs are a bit less secretive (or possibly not so good at covering their tracks) than Labor are, in that regard.

      Still, carry on posting stacks of comments saying much the same thing over and over, and then complaining about not being represented, when in fact you are ovewhelmingly the dominant voice on here.

      And isn’t it kind of weird, speaking of comment-rigging, that so many of yours’ and other pro-Maccas comments above all seemed to get about 30 up-votes in the same day? Almost as if it were part of some kind of coordinated campaign…

      But no, surely not, eh…?

      • Ex-Upwey Bloke

        Wow! Despite my posting the above at 11:58pm (despite the time stamp, which seems to be significantly out on this site since it says I posted at two minutes to one this afternoon) I seem to have gained not one but TWO downvotes, less than five minutes after posting.

        Let’s think about that, shall we? Two downvotes in rapid succession, on a post by a random nobody (yours truly) to a small-ish community newspaper site, after midnight on a Wednesday.

        Alan, Alan, Alan… Surely you have something better to do with your time?

        For me, it’s time to go to bed… or maybe watch some old episodes of The X-Files. Cos the Truth is out there, I hear… 😉

        • Leavethehills

          Alan and Heather are the trolls. They have lost the plot when it comes to what is important – protecting this beautiful land and the community in it. Selfish as they only seem to want the junk food. Heather and Alan drive 8 minutes and get your fix of crap food. You are the minority. Tecoma doesn’t need hoons or rubbish in the streets like every other suburbs medium strips littered with rubbish left by lazy drivers

      • Alan Coutinho-Hogan

        And so says an ex upwey bloke that is afraid to be identified with his own words,is that cowardice,or is that just showing people what camp he sleeps in.BaHaHaHa

        • Ex-Upwey Bloke

          It can be whatever your prevailing psychosis of the day wants it to be. 🙂

          I have no interest in identifying myself, because who I am is both unimportant and completely irrelevant. And because I have no ulterior motive in that I have no need to make myself highly visible for reasons of personal gain.

          Can you say the same?

      • Alan Coutinho-Hogan

        I have never said I am anything other than, I am pro freedom of Choice and that I support the laws of the land. I have never felt the need to hide who I am. Even after an intense 14 month bullying campaign of lies by a lot of cowards such as yourself Ex Upwey bloke. And I do NOT have the resorces of two political parties.

        • Ex-Upwey Bloke

          Clearly that included the freedom of choice to randomly capitalise words like “choice” in the middle of sentences. 😉

          (Not sure what you meant about not having the resources of two political parties though?)

          But seriously, would you still support the “laws of the land” if they were abhorrent to you? before you answer, think about it in the context of, say, being a “good German” during WW2, and following the prevailing laws of the time.

          Laws change, old chap. They get challenged and they change, significantly and frequently, all over the world. They’re not some permanent, cast in stone thing. More of a “line in the sand”, and those lines get erased, by time, tides, and the footprints of all the people walking along the beach.

          • Alan Coutinho-Hogan

            Ex Upwey bloke we know your not only a coward and a woman you are also a political stooge Pfffft.

          • Ex-Upwey Bloke

            Hahah. I’m not sure why you think I’m a woman (quickly checks the trouser department to be sure… nope!) but it’s interesting and more than a little bit telling about where you’re coming from personally that you just equated being “a woman” with being “a coward”. O_o

            Oh dear Alan. Oh dearie, dearie me… What were you thinking? Or is it more to the point that you weren’t thinking, and that being a sexist buffoon (albeit misguidedly, since I am indeed a bloke) is in fact the real you?

            What next Alan? I know: you could call me something racist next. Pick a race, any race. Go on. You know you want to. You’ll likely be as accurate as you were with the woman thing, but it’s fun to speculate, eh?

            What can I say? The 1950s just called, Alan, and they want you back.

            And btw, who do you think most people would think comes across more like a political stooge out of the two of us: on the one hand I’ve written posts above critical in one way or another of all established parties (Lib/Nat/Lab/Green), and on the other hand there’s you, with your Twitter feed full of rabid anti-Labor, anti-Green “preaching to the converted” time-wasting; your bizarre rants against

            You’re a joke long past its used by date, my friend. A sock puppet that doesn’t even know he is one, who doesn’t even know whose hand is jammed up there to work you. A slave to a mythical status quo that doesn’t even know, deep down, _why_ he does what he does.

            Thanks for the laughs – it’s been real. 🙂

  • chris

    so when Ronald is there they need to hold up signs in the background (check photo) so kids think is bad,l would say the antis are the ones doing the brainwashing , that Jen Taylor already had the piss taken out of her with the pig man and now she keeps digging herself deeper

  • Kit

    Mr. Muratore claims that the ‘community’ stands strong in opposition against the development, yet only a handful of die-hards and their children bother to turn up.

    This poor attendance suggests that those who once objected to McDonalds in Tecoma probably no longer care or that they’ve accepted the new reality, but doesn’t discount the fact that the remaining protest group has alienated itself from the average resident through their bullying, harassment and intimidation of locals and local businesses, and that the mindless and unsightly graffiti and mess that protesters continue to make at the site is exactly what some feared from McDonald’s customers in the first place.

    The ‘PR war’ hasn’t worked Mr Muratore. McDonald’s are and will continue to be a popular and successful business in Tecoma and elsewhere, and nothing that a noisy NIMBY and a diminishing gaggle of militant vegans and professional activists can do about it because ultimately, we’re all free to make our own choices, whether you like it or not.

  • Tecoma Tourist

    Is it open yet? I live 2 hours away but I’d gladly make the trip to Tecoma and buy me a Big Mac with a side of freedom fries.

    • Ex-Upwey Bloke

      You might be waiting a while. 😉

      In the meantime, why not make your own “freedom fries”?
      (BTW, were you waving a little American flag when you wrote that particular phrase? For the full effect, you should also be going to the toilet on a map of Australia, for the full McDonalds cultural experience.)

      While you’re making them, be sure not to forget the dimethylpolysiloxane, which is used in McDonalds fries as an “antifoaming agent”.

      Cos don’t you hate it when your fries start foaming?

      The funny thing about dimethylpolysiloxane is it’s not actually food, but a silicone polymer normally for pharmaceutical or cosmetic products.

      Still, taste that “freedom”! Mmm mmm!

      • Tecoma Tourist

        Delicious, can’t wait. So is it open then?

        • Ex-Upwey Bloke

          Good to know you’re the kind of person that would take a dump on your own country just for a crappy burger.

          Good to know what kind of person you’d have to be, to live “two hours” away from Tecoma, and yet take such an curious interest in supporting this situation…

          So… paid McDonalds hack, or just another misguided, sell-out sock puppet?

          • Tecoma Tourist

            So is it open yet?

          • Ex-Upwey Bloke

            Haha, no it’s not.

            Quite a bit behind schedule, actually. 🙂

          • Tecoma Tourist

            Be sure and let us know when it does open for business, it’s always nice to celebrate freedom winning over fascism.

  • Leavethehills

    McDonalds = noise and litter pollution – not wanted in Tecoma

    • Tecoma Tourist

      Good thing we live in a democracy and you don’t get to force your ridiculous prejudices onto the community at large.

  • Hills tourist

    I love driving through the hills. Going to a family owned restaurant or cafe. Seeking out the local crafts and gifts. McDonald’s will never be my choice as it is a franchise of fast food. Not appropriate for the Hills at all. As soon as we turn the corner in the start of the tourist drive we now have to face a giant M. It will forever be the pimple in the town. Not at all attractive or tourist worthy. All I can do is laugh at the ignorance of McDonalds as I pass and drive to the real food I came for

    • Tecoma Tourist

      And I’ll stop that the McDonalds and use it to provide me with the energy to tour the hills. Isn’t freedom wonderful!

      • Ex-Upwey Bloke

        Oh sure you will, Tecoma “Tourist”.

        For someone who previously claimed to live “two hours drive” away from the hills, you seem to be taking an extraordinary amount of time and effort into constantly posting pro-McDonalds propaganda here.

        You might want to consider using “McDonalds Paid Shill” as your username for future posts, in the interests of honesty.