Tecoma Village Action Group

 I rise to congratulate the Tecoma Village Action Group (TVAG) and the broader community of the Dandenong Ranges for their extraordinary and ultimately successful efforts to stop a proposed application for a McDonald’s restaurant in Tecoma. The people of the Dandenongs have always been very active in their defence of our community and protecting it from unnecessary, unwanted and inappropriate development.

The reaction to this proposal has been quite extraordinary. Some 1200 objections were lodged with the Shire of Yarra Ranges. The council moved a scheduled meeting from its chambers to the York on Lilydale, which was packed to overflowing at the meeting on 10 October. As you can imagine, the overwhelming majority of attendees opposed the application. I am proud to have been an active and vocal opponent of this proposal for this simple reason: people live and visit the beautiful Dandenongs precisely because it is not another suburban area of Melbourne. It is this difference that is treasured by all who experience the Dandenongs. It is this understanding that has led to strong and effective planning protections over the last four decades. What may be appropriate in a suburban environment is not appropriate in the hills. If this application had been successful, it would have set a precedent throughout the Dandenongs and the Yarra Valley.

I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank the eight councillors who voted unanimously to reject the application. Most importantly, however, our thanks must go to members of our community who spent countless volunteer hours fighting this proposal, preparing and delivering submissions, conducting public meetings, producing and distributing information material, fundraising, organising traffic studies, staffing information stalls, and the list goes on. Special thanks to Nicole Gale, David Jewell and Barbara Crisp from TVAG, and Claire Ferres Miles and Karl Williams for the grassroots campaign, and all the other wonderful volunteers.

 

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