22 August 2019

Protestors are gathering to protect sacred trees in Western Victoria: “Tents are mushrooming across a grassy plain as a 200-strong crowd of Indigenous activists and protesters join the traditional owners in protecting the trees from being destroyed to make way for the duplication of the Western Highway. … The activists’ deadline to be evicted is Thursday and the air is thick with anticipation for what’s to come.” Lidia Thorpe explains: “So far, our campaign has resulted in some changes to the road easement, saving six of about 300 trees that must be preserved. These trees, hundreds of years old, include birthing trees that have hosted the delivery of an estimated 10,000 Djab Wurrung babies, with ties to 56 family groups. It is heartbreaking that these deeply intimate cultural sites, which literally contain the blood of Aboriginal women, giving these trees nutrients to grow for so long, are going to be destroyed to widen a road.” And while it is preparing to bulldoze these 800-year-old trees, the Andrews Government is asking the Heritage Council to protect a freeway.