David and Goliath is a favourite story of mine and sometimes it feels that the world is full of David and Goliath stories but perhaps without the happy ending. I’m hoping that this story of Tecoma and McDonalds, is not one of those.
On the outskirts of Melbourne, Australia, there are some mountains called the Mt Dandenongs. They are covered in thick rainforest, native animals such as the kookaburra and winding roads with independent café’s, galleries, antique stores and shops.
It’s such a peaceful and stunning place. Great to go for a lazy weekend drive or hike.
I grew up at the base of these mountains and every time I visit Australia I spend some time “up on the hill” and breathing in the fresh air.
One of the small towns on the Mt Dandenongs is called Tecoma. This is a lovely quiet town that is full of independent retailers and is pretty quiet and not much happens after 10pm at night!
A while ago, McDonald’s applied for a 24/7 store to open up in Tecoma, right next door to the local primary school and kindergarten.
The local residents were not happy (9/10 residents do not want a McDonalds in their town) and objected to the local council about the application. Due to this overwhelming protest, the council then rejected McDonald’s application.
Unfortunately, as McDonalds has lots of money and high powered lawyers, they appealed this rejection in the Melbourne courts and were granted the rights to open a store in Tecoma.
The local residents were furious and since then have held peaceful protests at the building site, created online petitions, appealed to the government and media.
So far, much of the global and local media has been on the Tecoma residents side, they have collected over 40,000 signatures and last weekend nearly 10,000 protesters turned up in this tiny town to show their support to the local community.
And yet McDonalds still persist. They have sued some of the protesting organisers for loss of income and have hired non-unionised builders to still carry on.
The fight is not over yet. The media continues to publish articles about Tecoma. People from around the world continue to support the locals and hopefully McDonalds will finally do the right thing.
Please show your support by signing this online petition (it will only take you 30 seconds), like the Facebook page or support them on Twitter and if you have the time, visit this website and show more of your support.
David needs to beat Goliath sometimes in this world…!
- Rally demands a ‘no-fry zone’ (theage.com.au)
- Tecoma Protesters Ordered Off Facebook And Twitter (occupymelbourne.net)
- McDonalds sues 8 protesters in Tecoma (occupymelbourne.net)
- Tecoma roars (counteract.org.au)