Protesters aiming to protect the Djab Wurrung trees from destruction by Vic Roads in 2019 (Image: Supplied)

Taking out the trash COVID-19 has been a true golden age of "taking out the trash". Governments of all stripes have taken advantage the constant focus on the virus to push through all sorts of measures -- frequently degrading environmental protections -- that would have otherwise been front page news. So there's something sickly apt about yesterday's announcement of easing restrictions in Victoria.

The same day an exhausted state allowed itself a moment of celebration, the sacred Djab Wurrung "directions tree", which had stood for an estimated 350 years was felled and taken from the site of a proposed highway duplication. The project will ultimately see thousands of such culturally significant trees cut down.

Controversy around the highway has dogged the Andrews government for years, with claims of inadequate consultation and misrepresentation. An ongoing Djab Wurrung embassy was set up to protect the site, but this morning, as papers are absorbed with how the state will move forward under eased restrictions, the government sent in the police in to scatter protesters.