Honest Government Ads is back with its latest video. This month its ripping the shit out of Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley, much like how she is chill with VicRoads ripping the shit out of 3,000 native trees to build a a duplicate highway.
This video comes only a week after the Minister ruled in favour of the $672 million road duplication that stretches 12km between Ararat and Buangor in Victoria.
After wrapping up season one during the Federal Election, we weren’t expecting to see Honest Government Ads for awhile. But to our surprise they’re back just in time to create a faux tourism ad that tears down every single state for various misdeeds.
These trees are sacred to the Djab Wurrung people, who are the traditional owners of the land. At least one of these trees has been identified as a sacred birthing tree and is at least 800 years old.
Another is a 350 year-old ‘directions’ tree that resembles the figure of a woman.
According to The Age, the Minister decided that the project no longer threatened Aboriginal cultural heritage because five of the six sacred trees identified “would now be saved by the state government.”
“It’s about the entire landscape,” Djab Wurrung elder Aunty Sandra told The Age. “The removal of those hills and valleys changes the landscape. It’s already been changed now so many times … this is the final straw.”
Work on the new road was halted in 2018 over an application to save the trees, but it was rejected by former Environment Minister Melissa Price.
This decision was overturned by the Federal Court, which left the decision in the hands of Sussan Ley, who has decided to move forward with the project despite the lengthy protests and cultural significance of the land.
While Registered Aboriginal Party and the Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation have approved the project now that some of the sacred trees will be saved, traditional owner Zellanach Djab Mara has stated that they do not represent the feelings of his people.
“They haven’t taken instructions from the people they claim to represent,” he said to The Age.
Suffice to say, The Juice Media doesn’t mince words when it comes to its take on the decision.
In addition to satirising Ley’s penchant for numerology, it also claims that the project will only save drivers roughly two minutes drive time and that $42 million could be saved if the existing road between Ararat and Buangor was extended instead.
And if you want to stand with the Djab Wurrung people, you can get involved here. There is also a list of ways you can donate and help here.
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