The Victorian Greens have condemned the Government for their cultural insensitivity over the Western Highway duplication project and have called on them to go back to the drawing board.
It’s disappointing that the Government is refusing to acknowledge the cultural and spiritual significance to the Djab Wurrung people of the trees and landscapes scheduled to be destroyed.
After visiting the protest site over the weekend, Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam MLC, will today introduce a motion to parliament that calls on the Government to:
- Rescind the eviction notice for the Djab Wurrung Heritage Protection Embassy and ensure the police do not attempt to move Djab Wurrung people from their land
- Enter dialogue with the Djab Wurrung people on protecting their spiritual lands
- Go back to the drawing board in regards to this road project and any proposed route
Ratnam said the Government owed it to the Djab Wurrung people to listen to them and understand the depth of their connection to the land and their sacred trees.
Quotes attributable to Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam MLC:
“After visiting Djab Wurrung country I felt a deep heartache as I heard about sadness.
“Sadness that after hundreds of years of traumatic colonisation our First Nations people continue to be sidelined and silenced.
“Their voices are given authority when it suits someone’s agenda, but disregarded if they are not convenient.
“The Government has failed to understand how important these birthing and directions trees are to the Djab Wurrung people or why they shouldn’t be destroyed for the sake of a road.
“The Government must ensure the Djab Wurrung protestors are not forcibly removed from their land and go back to the drawing board when it comes to their Western Highway duplication project.”