By Aisha Dow / SMH
Union workers have now walked off the site of the planned Tecoma McDonald’s at the centre of protests from residents opposed to the fast-food restaurant.
CFMEU assistant secretary Shaun Reardon confirmed that union workers would stand by residents until their concerns were addressed.
”The people of Tecoma have the right to protest over inappropriate developments in their community and the CFMEU will be showing all due respect until their issues are resolved,” Mr Reardon said.
Jo McMahon, spokeswoman for protest group ”No McDonald’s in The Dandenong Ranges”, said the group received news the CFMEU had told its members to leave about 9am on Wednesday.
”We heard that union workers had crossed the community picket line and there were concerns about occupational health and safety,” Ms McMahon said.
After workers left the site, Ms McMahon said residents took to the streets singing and dancing.
The protest group has claimed private security officers made verbal threats to activists on Tuesday afternoon, telling them they would ”break their fingers” or ”smash their faces”.
A police spokesman said there had been no reports of arrests at the site.
Four protesters spent a second night camped on top of the old Hazel Vale Dairy to thwart demolition machines.
The Victorian Civil and Administration Tribunal gave McDonald’s the green light for a 24-hour restaurant despite opposition from the local council and, according to a door-knock survey, more than 92per cent of the community.