UPDATE 4.45PM: A Major Road Projects Victoria spokesperson said early works have begun.
"We have all the necessary permissions to get back to work on this urgently needed safety upgrade and that's exactly what we're doing," they said.
"Some early work activities have begun and will continue progressively over the 12.5km alignment."
Early works have included surveying, boundary marking and safety assessments.
People camping on the project alignment were notified on August 8 that construction would soon begin and were asked to vacate the site within 14 days. Those who remain after that time face the risk of legal action.
UPDATE 10.45AM: The Ararat Advertiser put several questions to Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan on Wednesday after she announced her department would seek heritage listing for the Eastern Freeway.
The Ararat Advertiser's calls and emails have gone unanswered. Here are the questions we put to the Minister:
- Can Jacinta Allan confirm she said to Jon Faine this morning that the government is seeking a heritage listing for the Eastern Freeway?
- If so, what heritage value does it have?
- What would that mean in terms of future infrastructure works that may need to take place?
It is the second day after Major Road Projects Victoria said they would potentially start taking steps to have protesters removed from the Buangor campsites, where activists have gathered to stop works on the Western Highway duplication project.
WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY: Western Highway protest eviction date arrives
Legal proceedings begun on Wednesday continue today.
Major Road Projects Victoria refused a request from lawyer to the activists Michael Kennedy.
Mr Kennedy's request asked MRPV to agree to not start works after August 22, and to not arrest or evict any protesters.
Today, Mr Kennedy is continuing to seek a solution.
"I requested the department yesterday to seek an extension of time from MRPV," he said.
"Last night I filed an interlocutory application in the Federal Court for leave to join MRPV in the judicial review proceedings - so they can be ordered to not act by the Federal Court - and to apply for an injunction to not start works, arrest, or evict the Traditional Owners until orders of the court."
An interlocutory application would ensure no works or other actions would take place on the highway while other legal proceedings are still not finalized, such as Mr Kennedy's application for an injunction.
"I am waiting for a sealed copy of the interlocutory application, and then shall serve it on MRPV and the Federal Minister, and then ask for an urgent hearing in the Federal Court later today or tomorrow," he said.