A WESTERN Highway sub-contractor has been fired after audio surfaced of her making violent threats about Buangor duplication activists.
In the recording posted on the Djab Wurrung Heritage Protection Embassy Facebook page and YouTube channel, a woman is heard making violent, racially targeted and transphobic comments about the activists.
"We're not allowed to do anything physical. They've got to hit first. So we're just waiting; it's coming. Then out comes the baton and they're going to be sorry," the woman said.
Other comments in the recording include:
- "And you've got a bloke there with long plaits with makeup on in dresses, transvestites. And they're half white."
- "We can get them off (the land), not a problem. 'But oh, you can't touch them'."
- "Yeah we've all done martial arts, they'll get a big shock."
- "I wanted to go bang in his throat, this transvestites, because he was right in my face."
- "I just push them back. 'You don't matter' I said."
Djab Wurrung Heritage Protection Embassy say the recording was sent from a supporter.
A Major Road Projects Victoria spokesperson confirmed the person in the recording was a worker at the site who had since been fired.
"An investigation has found that the person heard in the audio recording is a sub-contractor working on the project. The sub-contractor has been removed from the project," the spokesperson said.
"MRPV deplores the views expressed in the audio recording and we will not tolerate racism.
"The well-being and safety of the community, as well as staff, contractors and sub-contractors, is paramount."
The Ararat Advertiser also asked what practices VicRoads and Major Road Projects Victoria had in place to ensure professional standards were upheld by all employees and sub-contractors.
Works at the site were stopped last week, however activists said the works resumed on Thursday.
Lawyer for the activists Michael Kennedy has called for the state government to establish a Parliamentary inquiry into the the works.
In a letter to The Ararat Advertiser, Mr Kennedy said an inquiry was justified because there was "compelling evidence of a flawed institutional process from 2010 onwards with enormous losses associated with the delays since February 2017".
"(These) could have been avoided if VicRoads and Major Road Projects Victoria was not so determined as an institution to control the process," he said.
"I recommend that taking guidance from the successful Parliamentary Inquiry into Institutional Child Abuse, only an independent Parliamentary inquiry will enable the loss-bearing taxpaying public to be satisfied that a genuine reassessment will have the transparency and integrity which is essentially required."
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox each Friday morning from The Ararat Advertiser. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from across the Ararat shire, sign up here.