No Maccas in the Hills



Support for your Objection

Support for your Objection

Planning and Environment Act 1987 - SECT 4

Section 4. Objectives 

 (1) The objectives of planning in Victoria are-


(a)  to provide for the fair, orderly, economic and sustainable use, and  development of land;    

(b)  to provide for the protection of natural and man-made resources and the maintenance of ecological processes and genetic diversity;    

(c)  to secure a pleasant, efficient and safe working, living and recreational environment for all Victorians and visitors to Victoria;    

(d)  to conserve and enhance those buildings, areas or other places which  are of scientific, aesthetic, architectural or historical interest, or  otherwise of special cultural value;    

(e)  to protect public utilities and other assets and enable the orderly  provision and co-ordination of public utilities and other facilities  for the benefit of the community;    

(f)  to facilitate development in accordance with the objectives set out in paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e);    

(g)  to balance the present and future interests of all Victorians.

  1. 1.I am concerned about the impact that a McDonald’s will have on the environment of Tecoma and the Hills.

  2. a)The objectives of the Planning & Environment Act 1987 are to protect the environment.

  3. b)The Shire of Yarra Ranges Planning Scheme Section 10.04 talks of the “protection of the environment”.

  4. c)The Shire of Yarra Ranges Planning Scheme Section 11 says that planning should recognise and contribute towards the prevention of pollution to land, water and air. McDonald’s contributes to the pollution of the local environment through their non-recyclable, single use packaging found littering many public places. Sample photos for inclusion with your submission are available here.

  5. d)The Shire of Yarra Ranges Planning Scheme Section 11 requires planning to “Protect environmentally sensitive areas and natural resources”. Sherbrooke Forest is approximately 1 kilometre away from the proposed site and will be a popular place for customers to eat their meals. Many will then discard their non-recyclable packaging into the environment. This is similar to what already happens at many other sensitive areas, eg: Lilydale Lake. [PIC_1071 & PIC_1072]

  6. e)State Planning Schemes recognise the Dandenong Ranges as a “significant landscape” that requires protection and needs protection as an environmentally sensitive area with significant recreational value in Clause 12.04-1.

  7. f)Clause 21.09 identifies the Dandenong Ranges as an environmentally sensitive area that should be protected from development which would diminish the environmental and recreational value of the Hills.

  8. 2.I am concerned about the impacts on the amenity of the area.

  9. a) Amenity is defined in the Australian Macquarie Dictionary as features, facilities or services of a district, etc, which make for a comfortable and pleasant life. McDonald’s contractor, Urbis, describes Tecoma as having a “distinct Hill Town character”. So how will a McDonald’s impact upon our town, will it change our ‘distinct hill town character’?

  10. b) The proposed development will become the LARGEST business in Tecoma, in size of building, area of business, customer traffic, etc and will be the ONLY 24 hour 7 day operation. This has to have an impact upon the current amenity of Tecoma as a sleepy hill town. The establishment will be approximately twice the size of the next largest business and 8 times larger than the average business.

  11. c)In order to meet noise regulations, McDonald’s plans to put a sound deadening fence 2.4 to 3.0 metres high along their boundary with the neighbouring residences. A fence of this size, topped with 600mm smokey perspex, will set a precedence in the entire interface between Tecoma’s Business (B1Z) and the neighbouring Low Density Residential zone. There is no buffer between these zones, effectively placing 3 metre high fences on a residential boundary.

  12. d)Tecoma is currently described (even within McDonald’s own documents) as having a ‘hill town character’. Thus hooning, late night violence attracted to places with 24 hour operation, etc are not part of our current amenity. Nor do we want them to be. (See 4. below)

  13. 3.I am concerned about the impacts on my child’s school near by.

  14. a)It is very difficult under the Planning Scheme to consider valid objections other than the fact that the proposed McDonald’s will change the amenity of the whole area and alter the character of Tecoma as a ‘Hill Town”. Still, it is time for a change in attitude to our legislation as the “Objectives of Planning in Victoria” under the legislation includes “To secure a pleasant, efficient and safe working, living and recreational environment for all Victorians and visitors to Victoria”. Also, “To balance the present and future interests of all Victorians”. Surely this includes the health and well-being of our children.

  15. b)Being close to the proposed site, the kindergarden and school will be affected by the litter from the store which in turn will greatly lower the enjoyment of our children of their playgrounds.

4. I am concerned about the level of violence associated with McDonald’s fast food outlets.

  1. a)The objectives of the Planning & Environment Act are to ensure a pleasant and safe environment for all Victorians

  2. b)

  3. c)

  4. d)

  5. e)

  6. f)

  7. g)

  8. h)

  9. i)

  10. j)

  11. k)

  12. l)

  13. m)

  14. n)

  15. o)

  16. p)

  17. 5.I am concerned about impacts on the health of my community and the increased costs I may have to bear.

  18. a)It is also EXTREMELY difficult to argue that McDonald’s food would adversely affect the health of people in the area. By definition, if their food was unhealthy then the Health Department would shut them down. Compare this argument with how long it has taken to get changes to smoking legislation. This is not to say that making the argument to Council won’t have some impact as Council’s own Health and Wellbeing policy seeks to reduce the number of take-way food outlets in the Shire. Hypocrisy can be highlighted. There will certainly be health impacts upon those living near the site due to the stress of a 24/7 business with its associated noise, fumes, traffic, etc.

  19. b)There are still some relevant clauses in the legislation. Clause 11 Settlement states the “planning is to recognise the need for, and as far as practicable contribute towards: Health and Safety“. Of course debate will rage over what this means.

  20. c) Scroll to the bottom of this page for further information on the health impacts of ‘Fast Food’.

  21. 4.I am concerned about the existing prevalence of McDonald’s throughout Victoria

  22. a)The objectives of the Planning & Environment Act 1987 are to maintain balance in development.

  23. b)There are already over 800 outlets in Australia serving 1.7 Million Australians per DAY. Thus McDonald’s existing network of stores can service the entire Australian population every fortnight. In order to maintain balance for present and future Victorians there needs to exist areas where their stores do not exist. Tecoma and the Dandenong ranges are one such place.

  24. c)The Shire of Yarra Ranges Planning Scheme 10.04 talks of the “social well-being affected by land use”.

  25. d)The Shire of Yarra Ranges Planning Scheme 10.04 directs that the decision relating to McDonald’s must “balance conflicting objectives in favour of net community benefit and sustainable development for the benefit of present and future generations.

  26. e)The Shire of Yarra Ranges Planning Scheme 10.04 directs the municipal planning authorities to identify regional impacts and co-ordinate planning with neighbouring municipalities. As Knox has an ample supply of McDonald’s outlets there is no need for an outlet in Tecoma where negative environmental impacts would outweigh any benefit of proximity.

  27. f)Section 11 of the Shire of Yarra Ranges Planning Scheme states that planning is to recognise diversity of choice. As there are already 6 locations in the area that sell hamburgers, and many more selling fast food, adding a McDonald’s fast food outlet does NOT add to this diversity.

  28. 7.I am concerned about the noise that will result from having a 24 hour / 7 days a week establishment encouraging customers at all hours of the day and night.

a) The Shire of Yarra Ranges Planning Scheme Section 13.04-1 states that community amenity should not be reduced by noise emissions. McDonalds will impact upon the peace of Tecoma through it's proposed 24/7 hours of operation, bringing traffic noise at all hours, hoon behaviour and other disquiet to this sensitive area.

  1. 8.I am concerned about the impact on Tourism in the Shire of Yarra Ranges

  2. a)The Shire of Yarra Range’s own “Tourism Policy and Action Plan” wants the Yarra Ranges to become a tourism and cultural icon by 2020. The Yarra Ranges are already recognised as a premium tourist destination committed to the sustainability of the environment, providing long term sustainable employment opportunities and mutually beneficial co-existence between tourists and residents; whilst ensuring environmental, cultural and heritage values and the viability of the agricultural sector, are protected and enhanced.

  3. b)McDonald’s is an icon associated with the city and suburbs, not the Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Valley. Tourists are attracted to the Yarra Ranges area because it is significantly different from where they come from. McDonald’s would adversely impact upon the Yarra Ranges environment and thus its tourism because of its non-reusable or recyclable packaging creating litter and their advertising signs clashing with the landscape, amongst other reasons. "Community lifestyle" is centred around small towns and small businesses set amongst a forest setting and it is this uniqueness that attracts tourists.

  4. c)Hills townships are historically known for their small businesses, where until recently we did not have any multinational fast food outlets. Fortunately the ones that do exist today are fairly ‘low key’. Historically and culturally, there has never been a 24/7 business in the Hills until the recent 7/11 store.

  5. d)The Dandenongs has a history of cultural significance.  It was a place many artists came to be inspired, paint, create -  and that hasn't changed to the present day. It is a place of significant value to the Aboriginal people. It's a place that city and surburban people come to to enjoy something culturally and environmentally different.  A place where the mainstream paradigm is mostly absent.  Where the trees dominate the landscape.

  6. 9.I am concerned about the “built form” changes that will be brought about by this proposal

  7. a)Clause 21.06 refers to the character of existing buildings in a township as being the ‘built form’ of that area. The current built form of Tecoma is, as even the applicant describes, ‘hill town character’. Buildings are relatively small and have individual character. Roof lines vary as do parapets which reflect and blend into the surrounding hills. There are no buildings with a large expanse of flat roof and parapet lines as proposed by the development. The proposed building will be the largest in Tecoma and thus will greatly impact upon the current built form and set a future precedent that is not conducive with ‘hill town character’.

  8. b)The current B1Z zone of Tecoma comprises 29 existing business frontages along Burwood Highway with an average frontage of 7.7 metres. 80% of business frontages are under 10 metres in width! To place a new business into this built form with a total frontage of over 38 metres would drastically change the existing built form of the township and set a precedence that could quickly see further combining of existing properties to form other large frontages and the destruction of the township’s ‘hill town character’.

  9. 10.I am concerned about the impacts upon traffic in the area

  10. a)TVAG is currently contracting a professional traffic management firm to comment upon this area. In the mean time here are some non-professional observations.

  11. b)The applicant’s proposal does not include the impacts from or upon McNicol Road, a major oversight.

  12. c)The applicant’s documentation shows that delivery trucks will approach the site from the East, that is, from Belgrave. As most trucks will come from Melbourne where will they make their U-Turn; a the Belgrave round-a-bout or Tecoma back streets? Why is the sweep of a 12 metre long delivery truck entering the site by means of a left turn not shown? Is it because trucks will not be able to approach the site from the west and make a safe left turn? UPDATE: Apparently VicRoads were also concerned about this and requested the developer to provide a plan for access from the west (Upwey). This they have done but it requires changes to the ‘chevron’ and lane markings. This will impact upon the space available for right turn traffic into McNicol Road AND access to the service station. The actual document has not been sighted by TVAG but is requested.

  13. 11.Parking issues

  14. a)McDonald’s submission makes calculations for parking based upon some spurious figures. They claim to have a 56 seat restaurant but their own submission shows it to be a 90 seat restaurant, cafe, terrace area and play room. They also claim that a parking rate (ratio of car spaces needed per ‘seat’) to be only 0.35, and not 0.6 as is normal for a restaurant. Even taking their 0.35 figure [0.35 x 90] they should be providing 32 spaces and not their suggested 20 or their provisioned 26. If the rate was a truthful 0.6 then they would need 54 spaces.

Childhood Obesity in Australia


2007 Australian National Children's Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey: The Government has committed $4 million to develop guidelines on healthy eating and physical activity in early childhood. A consortium including The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne has been contracted to develop the Guidelines. The Royal Children's Hospital ground floor entrance is dominated by a McDonalds junk food outlet.

2007 Australian National Children's Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey: 78 per cent of 4–8 year old children and 95 per cent of 14–16 year olds do not meet the dietary guidelines for daily vegetable intake.

Neighborhood playgrounds, fast food restaurants, and crime: relationships to overweight in low-income preschool children, by Hillary L. Burdette, M.D., M.S.a,* and Robert C. Whitaker, M.D., M.P.H.a,b, from Preventive Medicine 38 (2004) 57–63

Decreasing the prevalence of obesity in a population requires modifications in the environment to facilitate individual    behavior    change... many environmental factors that make it diffi- cult for adults to sustain healthy behaviors and to shape these    behaviors    in    young    children . . .  The proportion of child- ren’s meals consumed at fast food restaurants has increased [25] in parallel with the childhood obesity epidemic, and consumption of fast food has been frequently implicated as an important cause of childhood obesity . . . where fast food restaurants are located, in relation to where preschool children live, may influence fast food consumption, and, in turn, the prevalence of obesity in children.


Are fast food restaurants an environmental risk factor for obesity?

The Article: “Are fast food restaurants an environmental risk factor for obesity?” by Robert W Jeffery1*, Judy Baxter1, Maureen McGuire2 and Jennifer Linde from International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2006, 3:2, examined the relationships between body mass index and proximity of fast food restaurants, and referred to them as a toxic element in our environment that promotes obesity, concluded:

“The study showed that how often people report eating at "fast food" restaurants is associated with higher weight and less healthy eating habits. It also showed that working outside the home and having children were associated with higher frequencies of "fast food" restaurant patronage. We also found that the accessibility of restaurants, . . . was predictive of frequency of reported overall restaurant usage”

Impacts on general Health

The following was from a study conducted by Yale University (USA):


$4.2 billion on marketing and advertising in 2009, focusing extensively on television, the Internet, social media sites and mobile applications.

"Despite pledges to improve their marketing practices, fast food companies seem to be stepping up their efforts to target kids," said lead researcher Jennifer L. Harris, Ph.D., M.B.A., director of marketing initiatives at the Rudd Center. "Today, preschoolers see 21% more fast food ads on TV than they saw in 2003, and somewhat older children see 34% more."

Key study findings include:

Unhealthy foods and beverages still dominate restaurant menus:

Out of 3,039 possible kids’ meal combinations, only 12 meet the researchers’ nutrition criteria for preschoolers. Only 15 meet nutrition criteria for older children.
Teens ages 13-17 purchase 800-1,100 calories in an average fast food meal, roughly half of their recommended total daily calories.
At least 30% of the calories in menu items purchased by children and teens are from sugar and saturated fat.
At most fast food restaurants, a single meal contains at least half of young people’s daily recommended sodium.

The restaurant environment does not help steer people toward the healthier selections:

Most fast food restaurants have at least one healthy side dish and beverage option for a kids’ meal, but the healthy options are rarely offered as the default.
Even though McDonald’s and Burger King show only healthy sides and beverages in child-targeted advertising, the restaurants automatically serve french fries with kids’ meals at least 86% of the time, and soft drinks at least 55% of the time.
Companies facing increasing pressure about portion sizes are renaming, rather than eliminating, their biggest sides and drinks.  At Burger King, for example, a 42-ounce “King” drink is now the “large” option; the former “large” 32-ounce drink is now a “medium”; the former “medium” 21-ounce drink is now a “small”; and the former “small” 16-ounce drink is now the “value” option.

Marketing to youth is effective:

Forty percent of children ages 2-11 ask their parents to go to McDonald’s at least once a week, and 15% of preschoolers ask to go every day. 84% of parents report taking their child ages 2-11 to a fast food restaurant at least once in the past week.

The average preschooler sees almost three ads per day for fast food; children ages 6-11 see three-and-a-half ads; and teens ages 12-17 see almost five ads per day.

Children’s food choices are affected by secondhand exposure to ads for foods and beverages targeted to adults. More than 60% of fast food ads viewed by children were for foods other than kids’ meals. Accordingly, older children (ages 6-11) are more likely to order an item from the dollar menu or a combo meal (27%) than to order a kids’ meal (21%).

Shire of Yarra Ranges Planning Scheme

10.04 Integrated decision making

Society has various needs and expectations such as land for settlement, protection of the

environment, economic well-being, various social needs, proper management of resources

and infrastructure. Planning aims to meet these by addressing aspects of economic,

environmental and social well-being affected by land use and development.

Planning authorities and responsible authorities should endeavour to integrate the range of

policies relevant to the issues to be determined and balance conflicting objectives in favour

of net community benefit and sustainable development for the benefit of present and future


Consistent with the objectives of local government under the Local Government Act 1989,

municipal planning authorities are required to identify the potential for regional impacts in

their decision-making and co-ordinate strategic planning with their neighbours and other

public bodies to achieve sustainable development and effective and efficient use of



Protection of the environment - McDonalds has a bad impact on the environment through its litter, non-reusable or recycled packaging, excessive packaging, emission of fumes, smell etc from their outlets.

Social well-being: McDonalds is recognised as contributing to the obesity of children, marketing to children who use 'pester power' to influence parents, therefore should not be near a school as this will cause social unrest within the school community.

Planning Authority to recognise regional impacts in conjunction with neighbours and as our neighbouring Shires already have enough McD's to cater for their clients (1.7Million customers per day) it is not necessary to have a McDonalds in this region. 

Our Region is known for its environment which needs to be maintained without bad impact of McDonalds.

Shire of Yarra Ranges Planning Scheme


Planning is to anticipate and respond to the needs of existing and future communities

through provision of zoned and serviced land for housing, employment, recreation and open

space, commercial and community facilities and infrastructure.

Planning is to recognise the need for, and as far as practicable contribute towards:

Health and safety.

Diversity of choice.

Adaptation in response to changing technology.

Economic viability.

A high standard of urban design and amenity.

Energy efficiency.

Prevention of pollution to land, water and air.

Protection of environmentally sensitive areas and natural resources.


Land use and transport integration.

Planning is to prevent environmental problems created by siting incompatible land uses

close together.


Health is a very important issue in planning and McD's have a bad health record {cite other government records to support this premise}

Diversity - An area without a McD's would help maintain diversity. McD already cater for 1.7Million customers per day or the entire Australian population per fortnight, so an area where McD's is not readily available would help to provide diversity.

Land pollution - McDonald's litter is a known problem viewable near any outlet

The Dandenongs are an environmentally sensitive area needing protection from McD's litter, fumes, etc.

Shire of Yarra Ranges Planning Scheme


12.01-3 Preparation of biodiversity strategies

 Protect significant flora and fauna habitat and important landscapes such as the alpine

areas, coastal areas, the Dandenong and Yarra Ranges, the Yarra Valley, Western Port and

the Mornington Peninsula, the Western Plains Grasslands (Natural Temperate Grasslands

of the Victorian Volcanic Plain) and Grassy Eucalypt Woodland.


The Dandenongs are specifically recognised under the legislation as requiring protection of its significant flora and fauna habitat. A McDonalds would have a detrimental impact on this environment through its waste (litter) which the company does not control. Excessive use of packaging, non-recyclable, non-reusable, lack of any means to control this waste once it leaves their premises evidenced by the amount of McDonalds litter around their outlets and further afield. Impact that their food has on native fauna, bad enough for humans.

You probably have many reasons for opposing the establishment of a McDonald’s fast food outlet in the Dandenong Ranges. Here are some common reasons that have been expressed to us with links to supporting evidence. (More detail is being added weekly, so check again).

To write your objection, think of how a McDonald’s in Tecoma will affect you as a resident of the Dandenongs or as a visitor. Have a look at some reasons below that may be included to support your statements, making reference to the legislation will strengthen your case. Feel free to also print out and attach any other supporting evidence such as news reports, pictures or other material you have. The more supporting evidence, the stronger will be your case. Click the links within your “Concern” to get details of the ‘Chapter & Verse’ within the regulations.

Advice here is given ‘as is’ and does not represent any professional advice.

 Shire of Yarra Ranges Planning Scheme

12.04-1 Environmentally sensitive areas


To protect and conserve environmentally sensitive areas.


Protect environmentally sensitive areas with significant recreational value such as the

Dandenong and Macedon Ranges,

Note: Again the Dandeongs are specifically mentioned as needing environmental protection

Shire of Yarra Ranges Planning Scheme

13.04-1 Noise abatement


To assist the control of noise effects on sensitive land uses.


Ensure that development is not prejudiced and community amenity is not reduced by noise

emissions, using a range of building design, urban design and land use separation

techniques as appropriate to the land use functions and character of the area.

Notes: The Dandenongs (including Tecoma) is recognised as an area of sensitivity and the specific land under application is situated in a peaceful village abutting residences. McDonalds will impact upon this peace through it's proposed 24/7 hours of operation, bringing traffic noise at all hours, hoon behaviour and other disquiet to this sensitive area.

Shire of Yarra Ranges Tourism and Action Plan


states  "The community's vision for the Yarra Ranges is to become a tourism and cultural icon by 2020."

It goes on to state that:

The YR's is recognised as a premium tourism destination"

"The tourism providers are committed to the sustainability of the environment"

"Yarra Valley and the Dandenongs are recognised locally and internationally as a tourism icon with a diverse range of tourism attractions and products.  These provide long term sustainable employment opportunities and mutually beneficial co-existence between tourists and residents, whilst ensuring environmental, cultural and heritage values and the viability of the agricultural sector, are protected and enhanced"



"Ensure that sustainable development of tourism is balanced with environment, cultural and heritage values, and community lifestyle, supported by the planning scheme."

"Provide infrastructure and facilities that meet the needs and expectations of visitors and local communities"

'Have appropriate structures in place, and support provided, to ensure the region is marketed to retain its place as a premium tourism destination'.

Note: You cannot object to McDonald’s as a company, the fact unfortunately remains that under the Local Planning Policy Framework any of the fast food chains can set up shop in the Business Zone as a restaurant should they decide to occupy an existing building. This is what happened with Subway in Belgrave.

Focus of your objections, at this late stage, should be given to issues of the building, the drive-thru, parking and traffic. To be considered by council Planning Officers, your objection should be submitted ASAP as they will be making their recommendations to Council during the week of 12th - 16th September. Later objections will still be accepted, although with less influence BUT you will be recorded as a party to the dispute should the issue go on to VCAT. Submit NOW.

Local Planning Policy Framework

Clause 21.09 Environment - Objectives, Strategies and Implementation

The Dandenong Ranges and the Upper Yarra Valley are environmentally sensitive areas

with significant recreational value and should be protected from development which would

diminish their environmental conservation or recreational values.

Local Planning Policy Framework


Commercial centres in the Shire contain distinctive characteristics which contribute to the identity of the local community. These characteristics need to be recognised and opportunities to enhance the appearance and effectiveness of each centre need to be identified. Future planning decisions about land use and development within these centres will have a major impact on the realisation of the identified opportunities.

Design new development to be compatible with the established character and built form, or with of the surrounding commercial development.


Objections must come from a “legal entity” and this must be confirmable. An email address is unfortunately not acceptable as a means of identification. PLEASE ensure your objection includes your full name and your postal address

Emails have gone out from Council to many people who emailed their objection because some people haven’t provided a valid postal address. The wording of this email may confuse some people and have you think that your objection was not accepted. This does NOT mean that your objection is invalid!

If you received an email from Council, please resend your objection (or update it and resend) ensuring that you have included your full name and address. This will also ensure that you will receive any future correspondence via the post.