Aug 20, 2013

Big Macs held hostage in police battle over Maccas site

The battle over a proposed McDonald's restaurant in Tecoma has turned really ugly, with discounted Big Macs for hungry coppers in the firing line. Crikey has the Police Association response.

Andrew Crook — Former <em>Crikey</em> Senior Journalist

Andrew Crook

Former Crikey Senior Journalist

Big Mac

Victoria Police is standing by its controversial policy of letting uniformed officers scarf cut-price McDonald's, despite Police Association chief Greg Davies insisting in a leaked email that "free" burgers were verboten. In a swingeing email response to a former Upwey resident concerned about the optics of discount-enjoying police blocking access to the planned Tecoma site of the international conglomerate -- obtained by Crikey -- Davies blasts the insinuation police are effectively accepting McNugget-sized bribes to provide taxpayer-funded security. Police and protesters have been embroiled in a tense stand-off at Tecoma, with allegations of brutality and heavy handedness being hurled around like Big Mac pickles at a train roof. Davies wrote:
"... McDonalds do not provide free food to Victorian police officers/our members. No-one is accepting bribes from anyone. The suggestion is as ludicrous as it is outrageous. Your assertion that our members receive a free gift is both wrong and offensive. In fact, your entire message is wrong and offensive and directed to the wrong organisation."

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12 thoughts on “Big Macs held hostage in police battle over Maccas site

  1. MJPC

    Corruption comes in a variety of guises, even super sized.

  2. Mark Duffett

    “They have raised $30,000 to travel to McDonald’s headquarters in Chicago to protest the plans and are hoping to buy a full-page ad in the struggling Chicago Tribune to raise global awareness.”

    Knowing what $30,000 could do for millions of refugees and the starving in the world, how do these people sleep at night? First world problems indeed.

    It’s called ‘free enterprise’ for a reason. Build a bridge…

  3. DiddyWrote

    Stopping the police from receiving free or discounted burgers might also have the unintended benefit of slimming down many members of the constabulary. A lot of them look like they would be very hard pressed to run down any perp on foot. Super sized indeed!

  4. zut alors

    You are what you eat. And let that be a friendly caution to the Victorian Police.

  5. Nick Seidenman

    Greg Davies would do well to take his own advice: get YOUR facts right, Mr. Davies.

    I live in and pay rates in Tecoma, Mr. Davies. Our protest exists precisely because there is no way for our community to petitioni VCAT to reconsider and/or rescind their decision. The only avenue of appeal is with regard to errors of law. The best outcome we could hope for from such an appeal would be to have VCAT review (just) those errors and correct them. Since our council did not wish to risk our money to undertake such an appeal, the decision was left to stand and, the period for filing having expired, the avenue is now closed.

    If you ask your fellows who know our community, they’ll tell you there is little support for a McDonalds here, and overwhelming opposition to it. Yet, they — and we — are powerless to stop it. Instead, they must “obey orders” that do nothing but back up McDonalds legal bullying with the added threat of physical — even lethal — force being used against this community that McDonalds speciously claims to “care about”. Police enjoying discounted food from this same corporate bully can only lead to the conclusion that you are, to put it frankly, on the take. This perception is, by the way, only reinforced when we see police arrive within minutes of McDonalds (or their hired “security” thugs) summoning them, yet if one of US calls for help, we’re lucky if an officer shows up at all. Even then usually takes close to an hour for a checkered car to rock up.

    Honestly, I don’t think for a minute that any cop is so craven or so stupid as to do McDonalds bidding simply for the promise of free or cheaper McCrap. But the disparity in response time as well as the lack of respect you show the community you are paid to protect suggests, strongly, that something is seriously wrong, here.

    Rather than berate US for doing our CIVIC DUTY in peacefully protesting this offense to decency and to law as well as to our community, you could remove at least the APPEARANCE of corruption and instruct your officers to take NO gratuity whatsoever, be it in the form of a discount, a free meal, or anything else.

    If you cannot, in fact, support the community that is now being assaulted and bullied, if you cannot even support a brother union in THEIR support of our cause, then at least TRY to lessen the appearance of corruption. Get your facts — and your moral compass — straight, Mr. Davies.

  6. MJPC

    NS; well said, particularly observations of the Police poor attendance times for the ordinary citizen as against the business owner, or support for corporations.
    Keep up the good fight; we have a McDonalds in our area and all it means for non-users is rubbish throughout the streets.
    Is nowhere sacred from this insidious scourge of unhealthy eating.

  7. Tony Meman

    While there is a police discount, on a number of occasions I have personally witnessed McDonalds staff refusing to take any money whatsoever from police thus giving them free meals(Close to everyone I have asked has observed this behaviour as well- most claiming that they have NEVER seen police actually pay a cent at McDonalds). Surely Davies wouldn’t be blind to this fact?? McBribes or not, the police should be seen to be beyond reproach and accepting discounted food, let alone free food should be outlawed. Davies appears to be the one with his facts wrong. Besides, if there wasn’t a McNugget of truth to this, I doubt it would have got his back up so much.

  8. Serenatopia

    Well said, Nick Seidenman, MJPC and Tony Menman…
    I just came back from Vanuatu…the island of Santos…untouched and beautiful…the Melanesians feast on coconuts, free range chickens and beef…fruits like papaya, watermelon and custard apples…they are fit, healthy, lazy and so very happy…I asked the local ni-Vanuatus, including my cool looking guide whether they have heard of McDonalds or knew what fast food means? All of them looked seriously confused…it was even more difficult explaining it…the look of bemusement on their faces…priceless…
    I felt like buying the entire island just so to preserve the innocence and beauty of Santo and the health and liveliness of its people…spam and fast food unfortunately has begun to creep into Port Villa being the capital of Vanuatu on the island of Efate…but the Santo’s Ni-Vanuatu’s were blissfully unaware…
    How could the filth that is McDonald’s come to define an entire nation? When our institutions including police and VCAT are slaves to these corporate interests…how could beauty be preserved…Tecoma is beautiful…the local Maxi’s stocks healthy beautiful clean home-grown food…one of the only remaining places in Australia untainted by the golden arches of filth…I would buy you Tecoma—if I only can….

  9. bluey50

    If Mark Duffett loves free enterprise so much he should applaud the protesters’ initiative in raising $30K to go to Chicago.

    But McDonald’s isn’t really about free enterprise is it?

    McDonald’s is not about setting up one or two shops and letting other business people do similarly elsewhere. It’s about trying to crush your opposition until the whole planet eats from ONE menu.

    I still remember a McDonald’s ad (for its wares miles away) on a bus stop directly opposite a small corner shop on the road near Innisfail.

    Just because they can.

  10. Mark Duffett

    bluey50, you miss the point. ‘Free’ means you don’t get to stop anyone from doing anything just because you don’t like it. Prevention of any activity should remain the sole province of the law.

    I like the freedom for people to raise and spend $30k on whatever they choose; it’s ludicrous to suggest it follows that I should like that choice.

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