Shire faces court for alleged breach of Aboriginal Heritage Act

Shire in hot water over creek crossings

by Sean Hefferon

LAST month the Shire of Toodyay received two notices of prosecution from the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage acting on a complaint and after a subsequent investigation alleging breaches of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972.

A week after receiving the notices, a Special Council Meeting approved expenditure of up to $15,000 to obtain legal advice and representation.

The shire faces a fine of $50,000 if the allegations are proven.

These allegations relate to shire works undertaken in early 2023 to repair crossings on Toodyay Brook at Picnic Hill and Glendearg Road, as well as the Boyagerring Brook crossing near the Toodyay District High School.


Tony Maddox at the Boyagerring Brook crossing near the Toodyay District High School

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Toodyay Cup is back for 2024

Shire votes 4-2 and the Toodyay Cup is back in town

by Sean Hefferon

TWO Special Council Meetings were held late last month.

The first meeting considered items that had not been dealt with due to the adjournment of the December 2023 Ordinary Council Meeting.

The December meeting was adjourned when two elected members and an executive manager left the meeting to attend to the fire emergency that had commenced earlier that day.

A number of items were considered at the first meeting including a proposal from the Toodyay Race Club seeking Shire support for various remediation works that would
enable the Toodyay Cup and Picnic Race Day to occur on 22 September 2024.

Key to the proposal’s success was the Shire agreeing to fund the replacement of the roof and guttering over the Tote and horseshoe public bar area.

The proposal and the Shire officer’s recommendation in respect to it was debated in council.

Out of the starting gates at the Toodyay Races.

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New Australian citizens in a land down under

From left: Toodyay Shire President Mick McKeown and new Australians: Erika Toth, daughter Gina, Patrick Chesters, Nuttakan Stevens, Samuel Provick with local MLC Darren West.

Australia Day builds on 60,000-year legacy

THE Australian story begins at least 60,000 years ago.

Australia Day commemorates the day Captain Arthur Phillips raised the Union Jack
flag in Sydney Cove.

It is a day that celebrates the history and achievements of the Australian people, but many see it as a day of mourning and a day of invasion by the British settlers.

In Toodyay the public holiday was marked by a community breakfast at the recreation centre followed by a citizenship ceremony and a presentation of community citizen of the year awards.

The very first citizenship ceremony in Australia was officiated by Ben Chifley 75 years ago in Canberra.

CEO pulls pin after shire election

Toodyay shire councillors at their first meeting after the October elections.

New shire president to oversee council search
for replacement

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

TOODYAY will get a new shire CEO next year following the recent election of a new shire president and deputy.

Current Shire CEO Suzie Haslehurst informed Toodyay’s new council last month that she had withdrawn her earlier request to renew her employment contract when it expires next year.

It follows an October 21 shire election which saw the highest-polling candidate – new Shire Deputy President Shelly Dival – win office with a high-profile campaign for change.

Ms Haslehurst had informed the previous council in September – as required by her four-year 2020 contract – that she wanted to renew her employment contract next June.

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Santa’s Anzac gifts to fill RSL stocking

By Mary Tucker

SANTA is paying a special visit to the Toodyay RSL this year.

Toodyay’s Christmas shop will donate a quarter of proceeds from its sale of Anzac gifts towards a new local RSL headquarters.

The gifts include Anzac Day aprons, oven mitts, tea towels and leather wallets embossed with the diggers’ rising sun badge worn on army slouch hats.

Local RSL members thanked Christmas 360 store owners Sean Byron and Simon Kohler for their generosity.

Veterans are fundraising to develop their new Clinton Street site for use by veterans, their families and local community groups.

Underground mining added to Julimar open-cut plans

Julimar mining exploration camp

UNDERGROUND mining has been added to Chalice Mining plans to build a huge new superpit and ore processing plant in Julimar.

The Perth-based miner told the Australian Stock Exchange last month that underground mining to a depth of more than a kilometre was being investigated.

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Historic Toodyay convent to become ‘luxury’ tourist resort with pool

TOODYAY’S heritage-listed Mercy Convent (pictured right) at the town’s main entry is to be revamped as a “luxury” short-stay tourist resort.

The iconic site is currently zoned “mixed business” and forms part of the historic Roman Catholic Church precinct which dates back to 1863.

The precinct was recently subdivided and sold as separate lots.

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Bid to stop alleged bullying defeated

A BID to stop alleged bullying, abuse and denigration of Toodyay shire councillors and staff was defeated 4-3 at a council meeting last month.

The alleged behaviour was claimed to have caused staff resignations and sick leave, and prompted people to be too fearful to speak.

Former shire president Rosemary Madacsi raised the allegations in a notice of motion at the November council meeting.

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Early local harvest disrupted as unusual heat prompts fire bans

Harvest bans prompted by last month’s hot weather disrupted this year’s early local harvest, forecast to be much smaller than last year’s record crop due to an unusually dry spring. This photo by Linda Panizza shows canola harvesting near Nunile.

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