• An Indigenous community in Victoria has had their voices heard and their culturally significant trees will be safe as new road plans to bypass the site. (Facebook )Source: Facebook
An Aboriginal community has had its voice heard and the Victorian government will now make changes to a road plan in order to protect two culturally significant trees, but one Tjap Wurrung man says culture will still be lost.
By
Brooke Fryer

Source:
NITV News
6 Feb 2019 - 8:58 AM  UPDATED 6 Feb 2019 - 9:01 AM

The Labor Government announced on Friday it will amend a proposed road plan between Buangor and Ararat in western Victoria after the local Djab Wurrung Aboriginal community raised concerns about two culturally significant trees that would be destroyed if the highway upgrade were to go ahead.

The road realignment will now bypass the trees, with around one kilometre of changes made.  

Despite the decision, Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation chief executive officer and Tjap Wurrung man, Jamie Lowe,  said the work will still significantly impact local cultural heritage sites. 

"At that site, there's been a number of artefacts found and you just know that your people have been there forever, basically," he said. 

Mr Lowe credits local community members for pressuring government to make the changes.

"Community members ... have been on the front line protesting, camping out there in the cold nights and the hot days."

Mr Lowe said community had also taken to social media to express their concerns.

The Australian Government has put $501.3 million into the Western Highway duplication between Ballarat and Stawell. The Victorian Government has contributed $171million.

The new road is hoped to improve safety for travellers. The last five years has seen 92 accidents in the area including 10 fatalities.