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Australians Hand-Deliver Petitions To McDonald's HQ

OAK BROOK, Ill. (CBS) -- There was a special delivery at McDonald's headquarters in Oak Brook. Not food, but petitions with nearly 100,000 signatures.

Those petitions have a strong message for top brass-- "stay away... You're not wanted.''

A team of Aussies traveled some 8,000 miles from the tiny town of Tecoma to Oak Brook to be heard. CBS 2's Derrick Blakley shows us why they don't want big macs down under.

On an Oak Brook street, just across from McDonald's world headquarters, protesters from down under arrived to shake their fist at a corporate giant.

"You imagine if they put a McDonald's on the gates to Mt. Rushmore. There'd be an outcry and there's an outcry because of this," said Garry Muratore.

Tecoma, an Australian town of 2,000 on the edge of a rainforest, doesn't have a McDonald's now and lots of folks there don't want one.

"Plenty of people come up to see our beautiful forests, platypuses, birds, native flora and fauna. They don't come up to see another McDonalds," said McDonald's opponent Melina Carey.

They've protested with marches, demonstrations, even clever videos channeling, Les Misarables.

Now, the Aussies are here to present 97,000 petitions saying McDonalds isn't welcome. But the store is planned for a commercial strip, not a forest and the corporation insists the protesters are a vocal minority.

"We can only go by what people are telling us and folks on the ground in Tecoma and the surrounding community are telling us they welcome McDonald's. We know McDonald's is a loved and celebrated brand in Australia," said McDonald's spokeswoman Heidi Barker Sa Shekhem.

A local council voted 9-to-nothing against the Tecoma McDonald's, but a regional planning board later approved it. a corporate spokesman says McDonald's is comfortable with the project.

Plans are going forward to open the store by the middle of next year.

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