Moondyne mayhem captivates Toodyay

Toodyay really turned it on this month with a return to its much-loved annual Moondyne mayhem that began with a march through town, the capture of notorious local bushranger Moondyne Joe by colonial coppers, two stage trials in Stirling Terrace, a bevy of fine feathered floozies teasing the audience and a host of street stalls and entertainment that captivated visitors and costumed locals on a perfect autumn day. Local traders reported steady sales throughout the action-packed event. Photos: John Martens.

Toodyay Anzac Day Parade returns to annual tradition

Former Australian Army Cpl Warren Hall (white gauntlets) leads last month’s Anzac Day Parade in a return to traditional observance after last year’s lockdown.

Flags lowered for The Last Post during the Dawn Service at Toodyay’s Anzac Memorial Park.

Toodyay Shire Cr Brian Rayner and wife Jeanette Young at the RSL’s Gunfire Breakfast in the shire’s historic Wicklow Shearing Shed in Clinton Street.   

Toodyay RSL Gunfire Breakfast after the Dawn Service.

Toodyay Anzac Parade marches towards Harper Road underpass

Marching up Anzac Parade towards Clinton Street memorial.

Some of the many wreaths laid at Toodyay’s Anzac Memorial Park.

Service veterans and their families stand for a minute’s silence.

Toodyay RSL President Peter Brennan lays a wreath at Anzac Memorial Park 

Toodyay Community Singers perform Australia’s National Anthem. 

Toodyay RSL members share Anzac Day drinks toast over lunch at the Freemasons Hotel.

Council picks City of Perth commissioner for review

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

A FORMER City of Perth commissioner has been selected by the Toodyay Shire Council to conduct a formal governance review of the Shire of Toodyay.

The independent review was recommended by a year-long State Government inquiry into the operations and affairs of the scandal-plagued former Toodyay council and its disgraced former CEO.

The new council last month selected Perth specialist management consultants Hammond Woodhouse Advisory to conduct the review.

Principal Consultant Andrew Hammond (left) is a former CEO for the shires of Nannup and Wyndham East Kimberley, and the cities of Albany and Rockingham.

His company’s website describes Mr Hammond as the “principal systems architect and author of the integrated community strategic plans for the Cities of Albany, Rockingham and Perth”.

He was appointed by the State Government in 2018 as a commissioner “to restore good governance to the suspended City of Perth”.

He “led the City until the election of the new Lord Mayor in October 2020”.

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Huge shire debt based on wrong business case

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

THE FORMER Toodyay Shire Council used the wrong business case three years ago to justify burdening ratepayers with the biggest loan in shire history to pay for the town’s new $15 million sport and recreation centre.

The council voted 6-3 in December 2017 to borrow $2.7 million (later increased to $4.5 million) for the new facility but based its decision on a business case for a different project that was scrapped after only a fortnight because former CEO Stan Scott (pictured left with former shire president Brian Rayner) botched the figures.

The $2.7 million loan was in addition to a 2013 council decision to borrow $1 million to buy the rocky 13ha site on the eastern edge of town from Perth property developer Ironbridge Holdings.

Many Toodyay residents wanted only a long-sought public swimming pool, which shire costings showed would have required an easily manageable $60,000 loan.

Total loan debt for the newly completed project now stands at $5.24 million.

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Veteran councillor quits over morals

Cash-strapped shire seeks to avoid extra $23,000 cost by leaving council seat vacant until October.


By Michael Siunclair-Jones

THE Toodyay Shire Council will decide this month if it should hold an early election following the surprise April 1 resignation of veteran Cr Paula Greenway (left).

Cr Greenway said she was too busy to speak to The Herald on Easter Saturday but issued a brief email statement the next day saying she had resigned because she was “choosing to put my own personal priorities, beliefs and morals first”.

“I am not available for a conversation this weekend as I have priority family time.”

Cr Greenway’s resignation was not publicly announced or widely known until she responded to a phone call from The Herald over the Easter weekend.

Her four-year term is not due to expire until October.

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New pool packed for inaugural school swim carnival

It was a full day of sport, fun and relaxation (pictured above) for scores of Toodyay District High School students, parents friends as the shire’s new 25m public swimming pool hosted last month’s inaugural Faction Swimming Carnival. The program included competitive water events, novelty games and even a faction ‘dance-off’ contest for extra points. The Faction Swim Carnival ended with student, staff and parent 4 x 25m freestyle race. The contest was neck-and-neck for most of the race with parent and student teams leading first and second respectively into the last leg of the relay before the staff team powered ahead in the final stretch to “take the chocolates”.

Stocks soar as miner buys Avalon Homestead

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

CHALICE Mining has bought Toodyay’s Avalon Homestead for an undisclosed sum as company stocks continue to rise with last month’s announcement of “significant new results” from increased mineral exploration in Julimar State Forest.

The 16-suite Julimar Road guesthouse in West Toodyay had been on the market for $1.78 million since February last year and includes two conference rooms.

Chalice bought the 2.3ha property for an undisclosed sum last month and says it will use the premises for staff accommodation.

Chalice also announced last month that it had appointed former senior Alcoa executive Soo Carney as its new General Manager of Environment and Community.

Dr Carney holds a Doctorate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and an Honours Degree in Natural Resources from the University of Adelaide and previously held senior health, safety and environment posts for BHP’s $20 billion outer harbour development in Port Hedland and at Woodside Energy’s $15 billion Pluto LNG Project at Karratha.

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Aboriginal cemetery plaque backs new shire reconciliation plan

Noongar Kaartdijin Aboriginal Corporation

WE ARE working closely with the Shire of Toodyay to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan as part of a formal statement of local government commitment to reconciliation with local Aboriginal people.

It coincides with our plans to more publicly recognise the site of an Aboriginal Cemetery behind the Showgrounds grandstand (see map above) where about 100 people were buried over a period of 80 years.

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Easter Bunny delights youngsters in Duidgee Park egg hunt

 THE EASTER Bunny delighted lots of excited children and handed out dozens of chocolate treats after a special Easter egg hunt organised by Toodyay Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service members on Easter Saturday morning.

About 100 children, parents and onlookers took part in the local community festivities, which featured a race to find hundreds of chocolate eggs hidden in and around the Duidgee Park playground.

“It took only four minutes for all 400 eggs to be found,” Toodyay Fire and Rescue Service Captain Ian MacGregor said.

Children who weren’t quick enough to find the hidden treasures went home happy with additional chocolate eggs provided from a basket by the Easter Bunny who made a welcome appearance after the race ended.

The Easter eggs were donated by Toodyay IGA Store owners Dean and Amanda Carter, and Toodyay Tyres owner Chris Brockliss donated sausages for a community breakfast barbecue cooked by local volunteers.

First Covid-19 jabs rolled out at Toodyay clinic

TOODYAY residents have started receiving their first free Covid-19 vaccinations at the Alma Beard Medical Centre in Stirling Terrace.

The local roll-out started on Tuesday March 30 with no adverse reactions reported in the first 50 doses administered.

Local resident Dennis Toop (pictured left) was first to receive an AstraZenica shot in Toodyay last month

The Wheatbelt Health Network said most patients experienced a mildly sore arm and slight 24-hour fever after receiving their first dose of the UK-developed vaccine.

The local roll-out is part of a national push to combat a global pandemic that has killed nearly three million people worldwide in the past 12 months, forced international lockdowns and plunged many countries – including Australia – into massive debt.

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