Drouin McDonald’s planning approval investigated
 Baw Baw News  

By // 20:49, Monday 14 December 2015

drouin mcdonald's construction warragul baw baw citizen by william pj kulich

DROUIN // BAW BAW Shire staff have reported back to councillors on why public notice of the application to build a McDonald’s fast food restaurant in Drouin was unable to occur.

Above: The Drouin McDonald's building is quickly taking shape.

First published in the 11 December 2015 print edition of the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen. All dates relative to then.

Construction of the new fast food venue came as a surprise to many in the community, some of whom objected to the business setting up in the town while others celebrated.


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Councillors called for a report into the process to be made at a meeting last month. That report was accepted by councillors on Wednesday.

The report confirmed remediation works at the site had taken place and said both planning permits covering the site were exempt from public notice requirements.

A permit for “works associated with environmental site remediation” was granted by the council on 19 February and, according to the council, “a Remedial Action Plan was endorsed under [the permit] and no information was required to be submitted to council for further approval.”

A permit for land development “with a convenience restaurant and waiver of shower facilities” was approved on 21 July with a condition the site remediation works be completed before construction commenced.

“The application was exempt from the notice requirements and review rights of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 and was therefore not able to be advertised,” the council officer said.

“The application was listed in the Baw Baw Shire online planning application register, which provides a list of all current and recently determined planning permit applications.

Concerns raised by community members that the restaurant will see an increase in litter around the site, which borders the skate park and Civic Park, were also addressed in the report.

“Conditions on the planning permit and the endorsement of a Waste Management Plan the [planning permit] will ensure that the potential for negative community impacts such as littering are reduced.”

The council expects 16 jobs will be created during the construction of the development, and McDonald’s has claimed 100 full and part time positions will be created once the restaurant opens its doors.


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Speaking on the report on Wednesday, Drouin ward councillor Terry Williamson noted how quickly the planning permit was approved.

“Most of us go through quite a drama with planning permits and [here] we see a big company get it in record time,” he said.

“But when you analyse it, it ticked every box you could think of. It’s a very big block, it satisfied parking requirements, it would’ve satisfied health requirements.

“Whether you think we did the wrong thing or not, I don’t think we did because we would’ve lost [an appeal] anyway.”

Councillors never had a say on the planning approval, as is the case for most developments with no formal objections.

“Once beautificaiton works are carried out I think it will add to Drouin’s commercial district,” Cr Williamson added.

“I wish every planning permit was [issued] that quick.”

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11 responses to “Drouin McDonald’s planning approval investigated”

  1. Gerard Dovey says:

    What I now understand from this article is that the McDonald’s shop received immediate approval, and there was no room for making objections. Councillor Williamson said that the only thing that would have stopped the go-ahead would have been formal objections, but when did the council open the matter up to “formal”objections? I predict: rubbish around the town, especially in our beautiful park; kids at the skate-park eating more and more rubbish fast food; a falling off of support for the large number of existing fast food outlets in the town; 24 hours a day of cars entering the precinct and leaving it, noisily and messily. At the moment, there seems to be a circle of rubbish around the Warragul store which is established by the distance walked or driven in the time some of this food can be eaten. So we will now have two intersecting circles established in West Gippsland, the rubbish drop circle from the Warragul outlet and the new circle from the Drouin outlet. This is progress, apparently.

  2. agree with comments about the rubbish . what worries me most is the traffic with Coles loading bay opposite the entrance, also the electricity pole, very old , been braced with steel, that is so close to the edge of the road, it is done and dusted now, hope Aldi’s can get here just a quickly.

  3. Marita says:

    I smell a very big rat! Also, I believe Aldi is going up at the old VIP site.

  4. Garry Muratore says:

    I think it is correct to ask the council why this project never had the opportunity for public scrutiny. I belong to the community of Tecoma and we fought long and hard to stop McDonald’s building in our town. Ultimately of efforts were unsuccessful but the store trades poorly due the the enormous ill-will McDonald’s created in our town.
    Whilst McDonald’s has it place it should not mean you roll out the welcome mat to them. Frankly based on the Tecoma experience they are not the sort of company you want in your main street. In Tecoma’s case despite the council voting it down 9 to 0, McDonald’s used their might and money to overturn a democratic council decision in VCAT. If the citizens of Drouin had an opportunity to have a say the council may have well had an expensive legal fight in front of them. At mediation McDonald’s told us Tecoma was a “catchment area” and they look for where they can tap into a potential market of 30,000, if this means a McDonald’s every 2kms, so be it.
    At VCAT McDonald’s had many special restriction placed upon the Tecoma store, these include special conditions on litter. Frankly McDonald’s simply ignore what they are court mandated to do. They promised litter patrol (They do little or none) they promised signs pointing out the environmental sensitivity of the National Park only 800 metres away (No signs).
    When a local Dad collected the litter in his street and returned it to the store they called the l police and had him charged with littering (I kid you not). Our community even created an online litter map to show the council how bad the problem is
    https://mapsengine.google.com/map/u/0/edit?mid=zKzsCEA0Noc0.kGYJDrUER_5Q
    Keep in mind, Tecoma trades poorly and yet we see a huge spike in litter. If Drouin is well supported your litter problem will be enormous.
    It’s also worth pointing our that when our community legally and peacefully protested McDonald’s used Supreme Court action (ultimately withdrawn) to attempt to frighten us into submission.
    As for jobs, in Tecoma they promised 120 and ultimately employed 40, these are mostly kids on low wages and minimum hours. When you ask them how many full-time positions they will tell you little or none.
    So yes, an inquiry to why such a project avoided public scrutiny should go ahead. Remember, McDonald’s have only their interests in mind, the community is only considered a “catchment”

  5. Identityissues8 says:

    Last thing the planet needs is more fast food.
    Guh.

  6. Anja says:

    This is appalling! Bypassing council who are the representatives of the community? What is Mcdonalds worried about? VCAT changes which have to take into account public objections in relation to health and access?
    It stinks!

  7. Jayden says:

    Gees, all I hear is complaining. What about the 16 jobs it has created to build it. That is probably 16 family’s that will now get a proper Christmas thanks to the devel that you all call Mc Donald’s. What about the 100 jobs it is creating once opened, I don’t know of any local businesses that could do that. I think we should be asking for a kfc to be built befor next Christmas, then a red rooster the following, followed by a hungry jacks and a subway the following years. And about the rubbish issue maybe our local counsel should spend less money re-doing the gardens in the round abouts and more money into more public bins and and cleaners.
    Can’t wait to get my hands on a large Big Mac meal mmmmm

  8. Raymond says:

    Garry Muratore – you may be right and you may be wrong, but why are you here, writing an extensive comment about a fast food store quite some distance away?

    To me it seems like you have a thing against McDonald’s and campaign against them whenever you can. And no, I have no affiliation with McDonald’s whatsoever.

  9. ned says:

    The traffic in and around that area of Drouin is appalling at the best of times. The Coles carpark entrance, the WW carpark entrance, pharmacy front of shop parking, round about, t intersection, and now McDonalds…what is being done to address the road traffic management and safety of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists?
    As for rubbish….yep….just take a look at Warragul and the mess left there each morning.
    Drouin is next…
    As for new jobs, there has not been ONE advertisement as yet for ‘hiring’ of staff for McDonalds. So where and how are they going to open their doors on boxing day with no local new staff?

  10. Kim says:

    Try blaming the people throwing the rubbish out not McDonald’s they can’t control the litter of the world, that’s the police and the shires job. I hate McDonald’s and don’t think we need another to encourage our society to eat more crap and build on our rapid obesity problem. But also this is the individuals decision. BUT what gets me is that I waited 10 months to get a planning permit to build my house in that time the new shire offices where built and completed and McDonald’s construction started without the slightest issue. So work out where the problem with our shire starts, hey councillors?

  11. Daryl Rogers says:

    What about the 16 jobs it has created to build it how of these were local people.
    What about the 100 jobs it is creating once opened, we will see how many jobs it will create.
    Tecoma they promised 120 and ultimately employed 40, these are mostly kids on low wages and minimum hours. When you ask them how many full-time positions they will tell you little or none.