The petitioners request that VicRoads desist or the Legislative Assembly of Victoria immediately intervene to halt this project while financially, socially and environmentally more sensitive routes and plans are considered
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Hundreds of large old, Red Gums and other eucalypts, many 400 or more years old, have been felled on the Western Highway west of Beaufort. Each of these large hollow-bearing trees hosted a neighbourhood of animals. The Grassy Woodland community they represented is listed as critically endangered. Worse destruction all the way to Stawell is planned. Over one hundred kilometres of roadside will be impacted.
Authorities have irresponsibly chosen an oversized road and emphasised short term benefits. For this the price is permanent loss of increasingly important and scarce, ancient trees and their fauna.
The violence against the landscape here is so extreme some residents are physically ill, and detour to avoid the ugly sights, or leave home during the devastation. Under current plans affected communities have had houses removed, while farmers will have their farms divided.
VicRoads justifies this road saying it will be more efficient and safer. But it is is abysmally inefficient. Financially it is as bad as the East West Tunnel. Safety can be accomplished by improved design. Climate disruption is likely to prevent an Australian population big enough to justify the ten-fold increase in traffic the new road can carry.
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