The Djab Wurrung people have been calling for the protection of culturally significant sites
and birthing trees on Djap Wurrung country along the proposed highway extension. The felling of the great tree has caused a huge amount of grief through the local and wider Indigenous community.
The removal of the sacred tree comes only a few months after mining giant Rio Tinto destroyed Juukan Gorge, a sacred Aboriginal site dating back 46,000 years. To make matters even worse, Rio Tinto’s destruction of the site occurred at the beginning of Reconciliation Week. The removal of the Direction Tree comes as a slap in face for Indigenous communities and their allies who are still reeling from the destruction of the gorge earlier this year.
The Victorian government has claimed that the tree was not among those listed as requiring protection in an agreement the Eastern Maar Aboriginal corporation, though this is yet to be confirmed.
Protests are still ongoing with more sacred trees and sites currently at risk.
A 700-year-old eucalyptus known as the 'grandfather tree' is still standing nearby. If you feel strongly about this and would like to take action, we urge you to contact the following MPs:
Daniel Andrews (Premier of Victoria)
Richard Wynne (Minister for Planning)
Jacinta Allan (Minister for Transport Infrastructure)
BREAKING: The Victorian Supreme Court has agreed to issue an injunction realignment of the Western Highway until 2pm tomorrow in relation to the Djab Wurrung trees. The matter is listed for directions hearing in the Practice Court at 10:30 am, Thursday, 29 October 2020
(Header photo by Sean Paris, second photo by Zac Crellin)