McDonald’s - Post Council


This page gives you a history of the McDonald’s campaign after the Shire of Yarra Ranges Council unanimously rejected their proposal

For information about the campaign going to the Shire of Yarra Ranges Council click here.

For information about the campaign Post-VCAT click here.

For information from the campaign after the destruction of existing buildings click here.

Quick Links:

                        Diary of events during the VCAT Hearing:  VCAT Diary    


                        McDonald’s Appeals to VCAT

                        Need some help filing your VCAT Forms?

                       McDonald’s VCAT Objections -What to do !

                        Update: Last days to lodge VCAT Form

                        300 Objections to VCAT

                        VCAT to Get More Funding


                        VCAT Appeal Dates Set

                        VCAT Practice Day Hearing

                        Practice Day Hearing Report

                        Thanks for Counting


                        Call for Experts

                        Fast Food Friday

                        Slow Food Sunday

                        Fast Food Friday & Slow Food Sunday Report

                        Funding Request

                        VCAT Hearing Day Approaching

                        Expert Witness Reports

                        VCAT Members Announced

                        VCAT Hearing Update

                        VCAT Reminder

                        VCAT Hearing Update

                        Back in VCAT this Week

                        VCAT Finished ???

                        VCAT Final Days

                        VCAT - Still Waiting

                        VCAT Diary


McDonald’s have chosen to again show absolutely no respect for the HIlls Community and to make good their threat, made to our Councillors in “The Letter” on the eve of Council’s deliberation, by appealing Council’s decision to the Victoria Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

Their timing in lodging at the very last minute before most people take summer holidays is part of their campaign to minimise your opportunity to be fully informed. There is a very limited window of opportunity in which to lodge your interests with VCAT and McDonald’s is hoping that many will miss this ‘window’ due to holidays.

Very soon, the over 1100 people who lodged an objection (or the 8 people who wrote in support) will receive a letter asking you if you would like to be a party to proceedings in VCAT. We encourage everyone to take up this offer and lodge your objection with VCAT. There is no requirement to actually precent at the Tribunal at this stage but it is important that the Tribunal is made aware of your grounds for objecting, as was Council previously.

Keep an eye on this website for further information and advice as it comes to hand.

McDonald’s Appeals to VCAT

Well help is here! 

Come along to a drop-in open afternoon

This Saturday 21/01 and Sunday 22/01

3 - 5pm both days

Rear car park entrance of Earthly Pleasures in Belgrave (near the old stables, next to the library)

Look out for the table and the 'No Maccas in the Hills' banner

Bring along:

-  all your VCAT paperwork (sent by Norton Rose on behalf of McDonalds)

-  and a copy of the original objection letter/email you sent to the Shire of Yarra Ranges

...then we'll help you to fill in your Form B - Statement of Grounds and we have pre-addressed envelopes and stamps all ready, so  everything will be in the mail by the end of the weekend.

There is only a short window of time for you to object to VCAT and the time is NOW!!!! 

(The deadline to reply is January 26)


1.  It doesn't cost you any money to register as a objector to VCAT

2.  This is the 2nd round - VCAT does NOT automatically get copies of your objection letter/email that you sent to the Shire.  You need to object to VCAT to be heard!

3.  Like the council, it is critical that we get as many objectors to VCAT as possible to show our opposition to the McDonalds proposal

4.  It is VERY important on the VCAT form that you say you want to attend and present a submission (say) for 10 minutes.  As we don't know the date of the hearing, you may or may not be available at that time.

There were over 1,100 objections to the McDonalds proposal lodged with the Shire of Yarra Ranges - the largest ever community response to a planning application!

Let's maintain the rage, and get over 1,000 objections to VCAT too! 


Only those who objected to the SYR Council are able to lodge an objection to VCAT, so if you didn’t object at Council you can only have your ideas heard by helping someone who did object. VCAT do not have your objection sent to Council, thus they have no idea how many people objected to this development. It is important to get as many people as possible to respond to VCAT.

Objectors will have received a letter from McDonald’s solicitor, Norton Rose, dated 12 January 2012. This letter contains 4 documents

    1    Cover letter from Norton Rose (1 page)

    2    McDonald’s application to VCAT (9 pages)

    3    VCAT Form A - Information (1 page)

    4    VCAT Form B - Statement of Grounds (1 page)

People need to read Form A and complete Form B. All people who objected to Council are urged to complete this form.

Important things to note:

  1. 1.There are 14 days from 12 January for objectors to notify VCAT.  Final date for lodgement is 26 January.

  2. 2.We suggest that everybody requests a reasonable time to present their case at the hearing.

  3. 3.Should you be unable to attend the hearing you have the option of having your case represented by another party, eg TVAG, but for now ensure that you submit a Statement of Grounds (objection)!

  4. 4.VCAT offers mediation as an alternative. McDonald’s has indicated they are not willing to mediate.

  5. 5.It does not cost you anything to lodge your Statement, and it only cost McD’s $314 to get this inconvenient ball rolling.

Completing Form B - Statement of Grounds

    1    We suggest that you tick the box indicating you intend to appear at the hearing.  If the date when notified, is inconvenient for you, you may withdraw from presenting at the hearing but your objection will still be considered.

    2    Try to cover how McDonald’s development will impact upon you, and try to include specific points as shown in the Yarra Ranges Council reasons for refusal (see the 9 page document (Attachment A), even if these were not included in your original objection. You also have the option of presenting further comments at a later date so long as you register now.

      3    Make sure you have ticked the boxes, added the date and provided your personal details.

    4    Send copies of your completed Form B to all of the following:

  1. a.   The Principal Registrar
        Ground Floor, 55 King Street
        MELBOURNE  3000

  2. b.    Norton Rose
        GPO Box 4592
        MELBOURNE  3001

  3. c.    Yarra Ranges Council
        P O Box 105
        LILYDALE 3140

Check that emails do not bounce as the Shire and VCAT have limits on file sizes. All correspondence should make reference to the VCAT Reference Number: P3933/2011

    SPREAD THE WORD and watch this space for further information.

If you have ANY questions, may we suggest that you telephone Norton Rose on 8686 6000 or 8686 6231 for an answer. As representatives of McDonald’s they are responsible for making their correspondence clear. This will be at no cost to yourself, but most likely billable to McDonald’s.

McDonald’s VCAT Objections -What to do !

Cover Letter

Attachment A

Form A

Form B

3MDR Community Service Announcement

Size: 4.8MB

‘Statement of Grounds’ suggestions

MS Word Doc

So what’s the last date of delivering the VCAT forms?

Well that depends, but it is alway safer to be early than late. Latest info we have is -

If your letter from Norton Rose is dated 12th January

then you have until midnight on Monday the 30th January to get your response to VCAT and the other parties as there is some allowance from the 12th Jan for postage. If you can’t mail it in time you can always email it or hand deliver by Monday 30th.

Some people were “forgotten” in the original mail out by Norton Rose because they had only emailed their original objection to Council. These people will have received an email from Norton Rose dated 20th January. This second group have 14 days plus postage time from the 20th January, that is midnight on Tuesday 7th February for arrival at VCAT.

Please don’t wait until the last moment to get your Statement of Grounds into VCAT, Norton Rose and the Yarra Ranges Council. The above dates are as best as we can provide, without guarantees. 

Update: Last days to lodge VCAT Form

Councillor Samantha Dunn has received feedback that the Victorian Civil And Administrative Tribunal has received 300 objections to the McDonald’s proposal in Tecoma.

Although this is a good result, the numbers would have been much higher had McDonald’s presented their application before the Christmas / New Year holiday period. They could have lodged in late October as they threatened to do in a letter to our Councillors if Council refused the original application. They chose instead to wait the maximum period before lodgement in order to minimise the community’s response during the holiday period.

Click the “McDonald’s” link above for a complete history of the campaign so far.

300 Objections to VCAT

Noted in the Yarra Ranges Weekly newspaper of February 21st is...

“The state government has allocated $1million to tackle the backlog of planning cases before the VCAT. Planning Minister Matthew Guy announced the funding last Wednesday and said it would allow about 800 cases to be finalised and reduce the waiting list by up to 6 months”

This may mean that McDonald’s are able to have their application heard by the Tribunal at an earlier date than at first estimated. It may also explain why we have not heard from VCAT as to a tribunal date.

VCAT To Get More Funding

Imagine this was YOUR kitchen window. Now imagine what life would look like if McDonald’s moved next door and that fence was double the height and built to be sound proof, just so McDonald’s could meet the minimum noise abatement laws.

This is a frightening prospect that an elderly Tecoma resident has to look forward to.


On Wednesday (14th) evening TVAG and the "NoMaccasInTheHills" people attended a workshop led by the EDO (Environmental Defenders Office). The EDO is a team of lawyers who support individuals and groups with legal advice. The fee of $300 was paid by TVAG from the McDonald's fundraising account on your behalf.

Samantha Dunn and Claire Ferres Miles in consultation with those at the above meeting, have put together a great summary of our next steps in light of this advice from the EDO (see below). If you lodged a 'Statement of Grounds' with VCAT, please read this summary. The purpose of the VCAT Practice Day is for the parties to consider administrative procedures and this usually takes about an hour. The exact hour that will be given by the Tribunal to consider our case is unknown, so there is no reason to take a day off work to attend. You will be well represented, particularly if you read the summary below.

Please note: Your input MUST be based upon the Planning & Environment Act 1987 and/or the relevant planning scheme. See the Shire Council's reasons for refusing to grant a permit for example.

Where to from here:

  1. If you are an objector at VCAT, please contact us via

  2. NoMaccasInTheHills will collate your input together with TVAG in preparation for the Practice Day Hearing

  3. At the Practice Day Hearing we hopefully will be able to work out how many speakers the Tribunal Chairperson will allow to speak.

  4. Updates on progress will be posted regularly on and

  5. If you have any talents, such as town planning, photography, noise control, traffic engineering, etc or know someone who has skills which could be helpful in our fight against McDonald's, please contact us.

MACCAS VCAT Appeal - The magic 304 !

 Are you one of the 304 objectors who lodged a statement of grounds with VCAT in January/February?

Last week you would have received (via email or snail mail) notification of the VCAT hearing details.  The key date for your diary is the week starting 6 August 2012 - five days have been allocated for the full hearing.

Before the August hearing, Tribunal Member Deputy President Helen Gibson has set aside Friday 30 March, 2012 for a Practice Day Hearing.  As part of this hearing, our community - the magic 304 - need to decide and present to VCAT a proposal of how best we can represent ourselves at the full hearing in early August.  In short:

1.  We need to organise the strongest community representation of the key issues such as local neighbourhood character, amenity, design, traffic, safety, environment and planning policy.

2.  All of the magic 304 objectors will be strongly encouraged to attend the full hearing in early August (in fact everyone in the community is encouraged to attend in August!)

3.  You are not precluded to speak at the full hearing, however given the high number of objectors VCAT will look favourably on our community if we nominate a smaller number of people to present submissions on behalf of the magic 304 - don't worry we will be thorough.

What you need to do... NOW

If you are happy to have someone else speak on your behalf at the VCAT hearing, you don't need to do anything at the moment.  Be assured that we will cover off on the important issues. We will advise you of the outcomes of the Practice Day Hearing and the happenings of the No Maccas campaign over the next couple of months.

If you feel very strongly that you would like to speak, either as an individual or as a representative of an organisation, then you need to email by next Tuesday 20th March.  Send us a quick email telling us your name and your top 3-4 concerns/issues you would like to present to the VCAT hearing.  This will really help in putting forward our best possible solution to the tribunal in how to manage such a large number of objectors.

If you think you know one of the magic 304, please forward this information to them.  We don't have a list of who the magic 304 are, so we need to use the power of the hills network to get this message out there really quickly.

What is a Practice Day Hearing?

During this hearing (which usually lasts for less than an hour) decisions are made as to how the full VCAT hearing in early August will run administratively.  Issues such as how much time is required, the number of people making submissions, the venue size and location and any other things that relate to the conduct of the proceedings will be considered by the tribunal.   You can attend the Practice Day Hearing, however there is no requirement to do so.  (We wouldn't recommend taking a day off work or making a special effort to be there as the scheduling of when the hearing will take place during the day is subject to change at short notice).  Both McDonalds and the Shire of Yarra Ranges are required to attend the Practice Day Hearing. 

We will post an update on the websites ( and after the Practice Day Hearing to advise you of the outcomes.

In 480BC three hundred Spartans stopped the might of the all conquering Persian Army in it’s tracks. Think what we can do against McDonald’s with a vanguard of three hundred...and four! 

VCAT Practice Day Hearing

VCAT have announced the dates of the Tribunal’s review of McDonald’s application to build an outlet in Tecoma. The proceeding is listed as follows:

Hearing Type                       Date                  Time

Practice Day Hearing    Friday 30 March     10:00 am

Hearing                         Commencing          10:00 am

                                      Monday 6 August

                                      for 5 days

The purpose of the ‘Practice Day Hearing’ is to consider how the hearing will be conducted; including its dates and duration; to consider whether any additional parties should be included in orders relating to who receives documents; and to make any further procedural orders.

TVAG will be considering requesting that the Tribunal be held somewhere locally rather than as proposed at 55 King St Melbourne.

VCAT Appeal Dates Set

On Friday 30th March, the Hills Community was ably represented at the VCAT Practice Day Hearing by Claire Ferres Miles supported many others from the Hills. Claire presented 7 “Order Requests” on behalf of TVAG and 10 other ‘Listed Parties’ to the hearing, a copy being available for download by clicking the image on the right.

Although not successful in all requests, the good news for the Community is that we have been granted 3 days to present our case to the Tribunal in August, with McDonald’s being granted 2 days and the Shire of Yarra Ranges 1 day. Deputy President Helen Gibson granted our application to have 20 community members and 5 expert witnesses present to the Tribunal.

Our requests included another opportunity for community members who were away during January to lodge a Statement but this was not granted. As an Incorporated Association representing the Tecoma Community, if you were unable to lodge your own Statement of Grounds please let us know the substance of your objection and we will endeavour to have those points included into TVAG’s presentation to the Tribunal on your behalf.

A request to have the hearing moved closer to the Hills was also rejected because of the requirement to record proceedings, but Deputy President Gibson will request that a large hearing room be made available in an effort to accommodate close to the expected 100 visitors per day.

Expert reports, plans and other submission material will be available via the Council Offices and website with 10 ‘hard copies’ also being provided.  We will endeavour to ensure that all objectors have access to material. Unfortunately we were not able to secure agreement that expert reports and any final changes be made available at least 30 days in advance, with Deputy President Gibson remaining with the prescribed 10 business day time frame. Our request that reports be available in electronic (PDF) format was granted.

Council will present their case on Day 1 followed by the Community over the next 3 days. Then McDonald’s will present their case, taking about 2 days with their 5 expert witnesses. The final stage of the hearing will entail a period when Council and the Community can obtain clarification of any points raised during the Applicant’s submission, but cannot enter new material at this time.

If you know of anyone with professional skills appropriate to preparing our case in VCAT, please contact us. Stay Tuned, August 6th will be upon us very quickly.

VCAT Practice Day Hearing Report

Many thanks to those who have already downloaded the Pledge, collected some signatures and sent them back to us. This activity is still ongoing and will be until McDonald’s “gets the message”. Keep up the good work.....

As part of the campaign against McDonald’s we would like to get across to this company the level of disdain that the Hills Community has of their persistence. The Community was quite clear, by the over 1100 voices against their proposal and the resultant unanimous vote by our Councillors in rejecting their application, that we do not want their store in the Dandenong Ranges. Still they won’t listen.

To ensure that McDonald’s understands the ramifications of not listening to our Community, we ask everyone to download this Pledge.pdf, sign it and get as many others to sign it as well. Please mail signed sheets (doesn’t matter how many signatures you have, just as many as you can collect) to us at:


P.O. Box 448

Boronia, Vic, 3155

Pledge Thanks - keep up the good work

No Maccas In The Hills is an open coalition of individuals, and members of the Tecoma Village Action Group Inc, who have a single goal of defeating McDonald’s application in VCAT for an outlet in Tecoma - or anywhere else in our precious Dandenong Ranges. It is hoped that this coalition with the help of more volunteers will enable TVAG to continue our wider community work through our other projects.

Do you have any contacts on whom you can call to challenge McDonald’s expert witnesses? Perhaps you can put the word around your circles to draw in the people we need? We are particularly in need of experts in:

Architecture and Urban Design

Town Planning

Traffic and Transport

Health & Community Wellbeing

Market & Tourism




Media Relations

Environmental impacts

We need to counter the expert witnesses McDonald’s have employed. Unless challenged, VCAT will have little choice but to accept their findings on face value. For instance, McDonald’s traffic consultant has concluded that there will be no significant traffic problems arising from their proposal, even though we already know the location to be a notorious bottleneck. And, believe it or not, this consultant made no mention at all of McNicol Road, the busiest local road in Tecoma and closest intersection to the site.

You can guess what the other expert witnesses have concluded in their respective fields. McDonald’s have a massive war chest to fund this sort of thing, whereas the community is selling blocks of chocolate and $2 badges to cover expenses.

If we can bolster our case with a few more experts we feel confident we can defeat McDonald’s and save not only Tecoma but our beautiful Dandenong Ranges. Please help us find those experts we need who will freely offer their services, or at least offer a discounted rate.

If you reply via email with any suggestions or leads, we will immediately respond. If you think you can help, please contact us or email Thank You.

Call for Experts still ongoing

Our thanks go out to the many volunteers who braved rather chilly weather Tuesday evening to count traffic. Every local knows of the traffic problems that Tecoma already suffers but now we have some statistics to prove it.

Thanks also for sharing the load in the fight against inappropriate developments.

Thanks for Counting

Fast Food Friday - 6th July

This coming Friday July 6th at Burrinja will see THE EVENT of the year concerning the debate about fast food in our community.

Join artists, entertainers and community members who have contributed artwork, music and a comedic debate on the impact of the fast food culture in communities like the Dandenong Ranges. Bring your protest sign, either in support or opposition to fast food.

"Is fast food damaging local community values and culture or does it give us the convenience we crave?"

You are invited to explore some of these issues and have a whole lot of fun doing it with ROD QUANTOCK!

 Burrinja doors open at 7:00pm for every one to arrive and partake in a community "Bring your own take-a-way dinner".

7:30 - 8:00pm is some entertainment by Stax 

8:00 ~ 9:30pm is the "Debate" MC'ed by Rod Quantock 

9:30 ~ 11:00pm will be the showing of the controversial documentary "Supersize Me". 

All this will take place upstairs in the Black Box Theatre. Bookings for Rod Quantock (FREE) can be made through Burrinja's website at

Please come, have fun and also support the campaign against Maccas through fundraising activities at this event.

Slow Food Sunday - 8th July

In contrast to Friday, Sunday the 8th from 1:00pm until 4:00pm will provide:

Over one food filled day, artists and the community will activate spaces and stimulate minds around fast food and slow food culture.

This community event will see the Arts Workshop space at Burrinja transform into a pop-up gallery, working studio, and slow food kitchen. Get involved!

Fast Food Friday & Slow Food Sunday Report

The Black Box Theatre was packed with people eager to listen to and participate in the debate - “Can fast food be good for you?”

The evening started with a community ‘bring your own fast food’ Dinner with a very wide range of ‘fast food’, from sushi through to traditional fish&chips. We don’t recall seeing anything from multinational convenience restaurant chains which shows how well the Hills are catered with a wide range of product. This also shows the choices people will make when given a wide range of options locally, despite there being at least 4 ‘chain stores’ within 10 minutes of this event.

After more than 30 minutes of entertainment by Stax, Sue and Stuart with songs such as “Cows with Guns” and the first public performance of a poem by Stax about the usefulness of a particular convenience restaurant, Rod Quantock MC’ed the  Great Debate.

The official result of the debate was a ‘draw’ but we all know that the negative case was much stronger, entertaining and received a greater volume of applause from the audience.

The Debate was followed by the controversial documentary "Supersize Me". 

Sunday 8th July the Workshop area at Burrinja was buzzing with activity as people of all ages made Zines and other pieces of art, or watch as a special ‘slow food’ meal was cooked with instructions coming from Japan via Skype.

Thanks to all who came, had fun and supported the campaign against Maccas through fundraising activities at these events.

TVAG and the No Maccas in the Hills crew have decided to employ a town planner to assist us with our case at VCAT. However professional knowledge doesn’t come cheap and there’s a $5,000 price tag attached.

Can you help us fund our Town Planner Tim?

Even a small donation of $10 would help us pay for Town Planner Tim to make sure we’ve got a cracking submission to fight McDoanld's in Tecoma.

Like to help us fund Town Planner Tim?

You can donate by EFTing to:
Account name: TVAG Fundraising Account
Bank: Bendigo Bank
BSB: 633-000
Account number: 144211653

Or drop your cash or cheque (made out to TVAG) donation into:
• Belgrave Organics – 1675 Burwood Highway Belgrave

Or posting your donation to:
P O Box 448
Boronia Vic 3155

Thanks for your help, we couldn’t do it without you.

Town Planner Tim will make sure that our submission covers off on the very important planning issues and because this is his area of expertise he’ll be able to do a cracking job of it too.

Got any questions, don’t hesitate to email and don’t forget the VCAT hearing is public and you can come along to see the greatest David and Goliath showdown on earth. If you’d like to come along to the hearing be sure to let us know by emailing

Keep up to date with the McDonald's campaign through or

Please don’t hesitate to contact us for any reason, whether to ask advice or offer assistance. This whole campaign has been a great community-building exercise. 

Funding Request

The Tribunal hearings will be held from August 6th to 13th, between 10.00am – 4.00pm at VCAT 55 King Street Melbourne with many supporters joining together to travel to the city by train to attend.

VCAT Hearing date approaching

One week late and in breach of the VCAT Practice Day Hearing Orders, Norton Rose on behalf of McDonald’s have finally provided TVAG with their witness statement reports.

This ‘brinkmanship’ of McDonald’s as demonstrated in the last second lodgement of their application to VCAT and now the lateness of these formative documents shows a total disrespect for our Community.

Is this a company worthy of your support? Please sign our pledge.

Expert Witness Reports

The Tribunal members will be -

Chairman Geoff Rundell and Member Megan Carew who are both town planners.

The Tribunal will take place in Room G1 on the Ground Floor of 55 King Street. The hearing will begin at 10:00am on Monday 6th August.

VCAT Members Announced

The Community’s campaign in VCAT has begun.

Please check our “VCAT Diary” for regular updates as things unfold at this very important time for Tecoma.

VCAT Hearing update

The Community’s campaign in VCAT has begun. So far all originally planned 6 days taken, although only a half day on Monday 13th August.

The Tribunal graciously permitted the community to attend our friend Wilf’s funeral on Monday morning, thus delaying proceedings. The Tribunal has allocated 2 extra days, 3rd & 4th September, so this matter can continue with more expert witness evidence from the applicant pertaining to traffic.

Please check our “VCAT Diary” for regular updates as things unfold at this very important time for Tecoma.

VCAT Hearing update

Just a quick reminder that we will be back contesting McDonald's in VCAT next week on the 3rd and 4th September. If you wish to come along and support the Community team, the Tribunal begins at 10:00am at 55 King St Melbourne. Most of us meet in the rear carriage of the train leaving Belgrave at 8:31am, picking it up at Tecoma, Upwey or even Upper FTG.

VCAT Reminder

Just a quick reminder that we will be back contesting McDonald's in VCAT this week on Monday the 3rd and Tuesday 4th September. If you wish to come along and support the Community team, the Tribunal begins at 10:00am at 55 King St Melbourne. Most of us meet in the rear carriage of the train leaving Belgrave at 8:31am, picking it up at Tecoma, Upwey or even Upper FTG.

Back in VCAT This Week

Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th September 2012 were the last two days of this marathon Tribunal, yet the paperwork from the applicant continues to come. The Tribunal ordered the applicant to provide cross-sectional diagrams of the Disabled car parking space, in order to show the ”corkscrew” across this space, by Wednesday morning. This was not sent until Thursday and then at an atrocious scale making it almost useless.

Also sent was an offer to pay for alterations and maintenance of existing public access ways and adjacent car parking. The catch is that they want agreement to integrate all currently private parking west of Sandells Road. This will give them rights over all parking west of Sandells Road and control over line markings and signage.

Check out the VCAT Diary entries for the last two days.

VCAT Final Days

Just when you thought the hearing was done and dusted there's still more to comment on.

McDonald’s suggested a set of draft conditions to deal with issues around the management of the carriageway easements, car parking, signage and traffic management both on their land and off their land. They were also asked by the tribunal to provide drawings to show how the 'feathering' and 'corkscrewing' of the ramp up to the disabled car park would work and integrate with the grade of the driveway.

These draft conditions and drawings ended up being delivered to all parties on the 6 September. After studying the submitted information the Community will highlight to tribunal members that there is still no plan or drawing showing proposed speed control devices, directions signage, car parking information and restrictions including any signs designating car parking areas for particular premises between identified times and there is still no provision for pedestrian safety and management.

In relation to the 'sketch' submitted it was found that there's a lack of scale to enable proper assessment of the changes in gradients on the site, and clearly specified relative levels have weren't provided on the sketch. There's no cross section provided at the critical interface between the parking bay and the driveway to properly demonstrate and assess “feathering” or “corkscrewing”.

There is no explanation as to how mobility aids, unloading devices or ramps can be used safely on an uneven, tilted “feathered” or “corkscrewed” surface of the disabled car park and there is no explanation as to why this car parking space is now referred to as an “Accessible Parking Bay”, so we'll be asking where's the location of the required Disabled Carpark.


A lot of the draft conditions are predicated on the consent of other land owners and there's been no evidence to suggest that this will be forthcoming, yet another example of this flawed application on a constrained site.


As part of what is hoped to be the final submission we're asking the tribunal to draw a line underneath the list of material provided by the applicant and base its decision on the merits of what's been presented up to 6 September.

(by Samantha Dunn)

VCAT Finished ???

We are now into October and still awaiting a decision by the VCAT Members which will hopefully arrive in the next 2 weeks. Our hearing was considerably longer than expected and there is much material for the Tribunal Members to consider. Patience is a virtue.

Check out the VCAT Diary entries for a history of what happened or click on the McDonald’s link above for a full record of our long and hard battle to maintain the Hills Character of Tecoma.

VCAT - Still Waiting

The Tecoma Village Action Group (TVAG) and all directly involved in the campaign to stop the inappropriate development of a McDonald’s outlet in Tecoma wish to thank all who made a donation to assist us.

In all $7365 was raised through donations and fundraising and used to cover expenses in obtaining Police accident statistics, employing a town planner - Mr Tim Radisich to represent a number of residents, and for our own expert witness.

It should be noted that our expert witness, Dr Barry Clark, provided his services without charge but TVAG has made a donation of $500 to the restoration project of the Great Melbourne Telescope that had to forego Barry’s time whilst he committed to our Community.

A BIG Thank You

VCAT has released its decision regarding Mcdonald's application to build an outlet in Tecoma. Unfortunately they have granted permission.

It is difficult for many of us to understand this decision, but it is based upon the zoning of the land as “Business 1” that allows the same business activity in  Tecoma as anywhere else. The Tribunal appears to have ignored the hierarchy of business development desired by The Shire of Yarra Ranges that tries to put major developments in larger townships and urban areas and maintain the character of smaller townships.

You can download the Tribunal’s Decision [Decision.doc] and read their reasons. There are also a number of conditions with which McDonald’s must comply but given their level of desperation in the final days of the Hearing, they will spend whatever it costs to get a foothold into the Dandenong Ranges.

McDonald’s have a stated policy to provide an outlet within 5 minutes of their customers - so look out Olinda, Monbulk and Emerald!

Disappointing VCAT decision