THE Western Highway duplication project continues to be delayed while the Federal Department of Environment and Energy considers a protection application submitted in July 2018.
Activists submitted the application right after works were due to begin, and Major Road Projects Victoria confirmed this week it is still waiting for an outcome from the department.
Until then it has provided assurance that work will not recommence before July 10 unless the department advised otherwise.
While Major Road Projects Victoria awaits a decision from the department, it is required to provide a commitment that it won't commence any works until a given date.
Each time that date passes with no outcome, Major Road Projects must commit to a new date.
Activists submitted the application in order to seek protection for the area surrounding Buangor that would be impacted by the road upgrade.
In December of last year then federal Environment Minister Melissa Price ruled against the application, but the Federal Court overruled her decision in April of this year after an appeal process was launched.
In March works were due to recommence but activists again blocked access to the site.
A stop-work amnesty was then agreed upon between Djab Wurrung people's lawyers and Major Road Projects Victoria in late March, with an agreement made by both parties no work would commence until after 5pm on Monday, April 22.
In a video to the Djab Wurrung Heritage Protection Embassy Facebook page, activist Zellanach Gunaikurnai sent out an "amber alert".
"There is a team that specialises in removing protesters in the area," he said in the video.
"We can be prepared and ready to go if they come and try to remove us from saving what is our cultural identity and what is our birthright."
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- Protest camps at Western Highway duplication construction at Buangor over claimed Aboriginal cultural heritage of trees.
- Western Highway duplication tree removal at Ararat: Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation denies supporting the project.
- Activists blockade Western Highway duplication at Ararat | Photos.
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