Reporting Mike Krauser
(CBS) – The residents of a small Australian mountain town have gathered more than 90,000 signatures from people opposed to a McDonald’s restaurant, and planned to deliver them by hand to McDonald’s headquarters in Oak Brook on Tuesday.
WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports there have been marches, sit-ins, and flash mobs; as the 2,000 residents of Tecoma have voted overwhelmingly against a McDonald’s in their town, about 25 miles east of Melbourne.
The town council also voted against the restaurant, but McDonald’s prevailed in court.
Now, a delegation from the small town on the edge of a popular national park in the Dandenong Ranges has planned to deliver a petition to McDonald’s headquarters, seeking to halt construction of the McDonald’s across the road from a school in Tecoma.
According to the petition, plans for the McDonald’s in Tecoma would demolish “local iconic buildings.”
“For our kids, the nearby national park and our beautiful small-town culture, there could be nothing worse,” the petition reads. “Every day, kids as young as five years old would need to walk past a giant advertisement for junk food just to go to school. This is despite health experts warning of the damaging impact of junk food on young children — and child obesity spiralling out of control. Perhaps even more worryingly, if it goes ahead here, it could set a dangerous precedent of junk food stores being built next to schools.”
Local musicians have even released an album of 16 original protest songs to voice their opposition.
Organizers set out to raise $2,500 for the trip, and said they raised $36,000 in less than an hour.