ABORIGINAL Elder Aunty Sandra Onus has spoken out against what she called misinformation spreading about why activists are protesting the Western Highway Buangor to Ararat duplication project.
Activists have been camping on the proposed construction site along the current Western Highway since June, with over 100 flocking to the camps in the past week as Major Roads Victoria announced it was ready to begin construction.
The protest has been hotly debated in the community and Aunty Sandra condemned misinformation about why activists were protesting the road.
"There's been radio programs talking about us supporting a particular farmer," she said.
"We're not doing this for any farmer. We're doing it to stop them from destroying our cultural heritage.
"We're not anti-road. We know how much traffic goes past - a truck every three minutes. But the way they're going about it, we don't believe it needs to be done that way."
Meanwhile, on Monday Djabwurrung representative Zellanach Gurnaikurnai issued a call out for more volunteers via Facebook.
In a live video on the social media platform he said that activists expected construction machinery to arrive on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Mr Gurnaikurnai could not be reached for comment by publication.
Aunty Sandra said any machinery would be met head-on.
"The minute we spot any earth moving equipment, it will still take them a few hours to set up - the union delegates will be here," she said.
A government spokesman out of Roads Minister Jaala Pulford's office said the government had sufficiently addressed the issue of the trees and other culturally sensitive sites.
"We've responded to concerns of the Aboriginal community and changed the alignment of the Western Highway duplication project between Buangor and Ararat," the spokesman said.
"Discussions with the Aboriginal community highlighted the significance of two trees and we've taken proactive steps to protect them by changing the road alignment.
"The project has overwhelming support from locals and will provide a vital boost to the regional economy."
- Ararat Advertiser
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