Small town, big arches: Why one Australian town is fighting McDonald's

Story highlights

  • Small town near Melbourne, Australia, has fought McDonald's plans for two years
  • Locals cite environmental, crime concerns over proposed site of new restaurant
  • McDonald's says it has been "diligent" in addressing concerns of community
It seems that in at least one part of the world, the golden arches have lost a little luster.
The reason lies in a proposal by U.S.-based fast food giant McDonald's to build a restaurant in Tecoma, a small Australian town in the lush foothills of the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne.
The corporation's move has sparked a two-year battle with locals, who say they resent the influx of an international restaurant chain and feel that the restaurant will spoil an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Under the banner "No Maccas in Tecoma," residents of the town of 2,000 have held several protests against the proposed restaurant, such as the one depicted in this iReport in early March, shot by Tim Smith and sent in by resident Kerry Furnell.
Why such anger over one burger joint? The reasons are manifold, says campaigner Garry Muratore.
"For me, personally, I will be living only 400 meters from the proposed development, so the issues were litter and traffic," he said.
"For young families, it is the fact that it will be built