HUNDREDS of angry protesors heckled and jeered Yarra Ranges Shire councillors last night after the council voted not to launch a Supreme Court appeal against a Tecoma McDonald’s development.
Shouts of ‘‘Shame, shame’’ and ‘‘Hills people don’t give up’’ echoed through the Yarra Ranges Shire Council building in Lilydale following the defeat of the motion.
The restaurant will now be built unimpeded on a Burwood Highway block in Tecoma, a site that has been occupied by protesters 24 hours a day, after VCAT overruled a decision by the council to refuse the fast-food chain a permit to build.
A motion moved by councillors to launch an appeal was defeated six votes to three, with several councillors citing possible costs of over a million dollars as too great a burden.
The council received legal advice at the meeting that there were narrow grounds for appeal over the VCAT decision by questioning whether VCAT had made an error in judging the social impact of the McDonald’s proposal.
In a tense final meeting for the council before the weekend’s election, hundreds of residents gathered in the public gallery and the hallways of the council chambers in Lilydale to voice their opposition to the development and to pressure councillors to launch an appeal.
Cr Samantha Dunn moved a motion for the council to urgently consider launching an appeal against the decision and said it was the end of the road in terms of the planning process.
‘‘The only opportunity to fight this matter now is through the Supreme Court. Can I seek from you, councillors, leave to do that? To do anything less than that would be doing this community a disservice,’’ she said.
Under the law, appeals against VCAT rulings must be made within 28 days of a VCAT decision. Any party looking to launch a Supreme Court appeal against the McDonald’s Tecoma permit would need to do so before November 7.