Australia Day draws big crowd to new venue

WA Nationals President Steve Blyth addresses last month’s Australia Day celebrations at Toodyay’s new sport and recreation centre.

Toodyay Australia Day Awards nominees and winners* (from left): Donald Anderson, John Lucas*, Sean Byron, Sarah Otremba, Carolynne Haigh, Ian McGregor*, Kaye Rewell, Kyla Browne* and Willow Hitches*.

Kids enjoy Australia Day fun in the town’s new pool.

Local volunteer firefighters battle frightening Hills inferno

FRIGHTENING scenes confronted Toodyay volunteer firefighters when local brigades rushed to battle a huge uncontrolled bushfire that destroyed dozens of Hills homes this month and forced hundreds of residents to flee to emergency evacuation centres.

Toodyay Central Brigade members helped save the Noble Falls Tavern from being destroyed on the first night of the devastating inferno.

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Claimed $600,000 shire budget shortfall queried

Toodyay’s new $14 million Sport and Recreation Centre under construction last year.


By Michael Sinclair-Jones

A CLAIMED $600,000 budget shortfall at the end of November has prompted the Toodyay Shire Council to delay seeking a new $4.5 million loan to pay for the town’s new sport and recreation centre.

The shortfall was claimed in the shire’s November accounts which were presented to last month’s council meeting.

Councillors voted 2-4 not to accept the accounts after Cr Mick McKeown asked questions that CEO Suzie Haslehurst took on notice to be answered later due to corporate services staff absences.

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More major roadworks delay Toodyay traffic

The eastern end of a big section of Toodyay Road being rebuilt between Lovers Lane and Jingaling Brook Road.

CONSTRUCTION has begun on a major re-alignment of Toodyay Road between Lovers Lane and Jingaling Brook Road.

MainRoads WA has built a sealed temporary 60km/h bypass around the construction area, which includes heavy earthworks and vegetation clearing to straighten dangerous bends and install a new 2.2km overtaking lane.

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Toodyay cafes suffer as virus roadblocks return

Police wearing face masks stop traffic on Toodyay Road at Morangup after Perth went into a new Covid-19 lockdown at the start of this month. Photo: Peter Harms.

LOCAL cafes and other tourism operators suffered a sudden downturn at the start of this month when the State Government imposed a new five-day emergency lockdown to contain a fresh outbreak of the deadly Covid-19 virus in Perth.

A police roadblock was reimposed on Toodyay Road near Morangup Road and officers turned away all motorists without an exemption or a valid reason to travel.

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Clean energy mineral boom

Cashed-up miner spends $7m on Julimar farms as shares skyrocket 2400 per cent

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

TOODYAY is gearing up to be a world player in supplying raw materials for new global clean energy markets after “exceptional” results from recent test drilling for rare precious metals in Julimar.

A report to the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) suggests Toodyay may be heading for an economic bonanza in new jobs, supplies and corporate community funding.

The discovery has triggered a rush by rival explorers to peg other large areas of Toodyay in the hope of finding similar deposits.

Chalice Gold Mines shares have skyrocketed by more than 2400 per cent since mid-March, bolstered by last month’s announcement that the explorer had bought three Julimar farms for a total of $7 million in cash and a further $7 million in shares.

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Simply the best

Champion Toodyay bakers Jason Marion (left) and pastry chef Samson Woodford prepare a tray of Australia’s best sausage rolls.

Toodyay Bakery wins best national sausage roll

HE’S DONE it again.

Toodyay’s seemingly unstoppable champion baker Jason Marion and his talented team have brought home yet another national award, this time for Australia’s best sausage roll.

With Champion Pie already under their belt from the 2020 Perth Royal Food Awards, Toodyay Bakery scored seven more gold and two silver medals at Sydney’s recent Covid-delayed national awards.

It was an all-Toodyay affair in Sydney with ingredients from The Meat Hook, Baillee Farm and local IGA store.

More gold medals were won for Toodyay Bakery’s African lamb berbere, vegan korma masala, bushchook pie, butter chicken, apple cinnamon pie and Christmas pie.

Silvers went to good old plain meat pies and an “Apprentice Plain Mince Pie” by Olivia Jarquin Baugh.

Good spirits of Ballardong ancestors called on to watch over Toodyay’s new pool

Ballardong Elder Charmaine Miles delivers a “Welcome to Country” as local Labor MP Darren West watches on at last month’s official opening of Toodyay’s new $14 million recreation centre and pool.

Welcome to Country

IT’S A GREAT privilege to represent my people and my culture on this very important day.

I thank the Shire of Toodyay for inviting me here to say a few words and to welcome you all ‘to country’.

I’m a Ballardong woman, I speak the Ballardong language and I continue to connect with my culture on so many levels.

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Shire contract signed after concern over legal risk

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

A SIX-WEEK delay in signing a new contract to manage Toodyay’s recently opened $14 million recreation centre caused a dramatic special council meeting to be called at short notice last month.

It followed last month’s ordinary meeting when three councillors led by Cr Therese Chitty (pictured right with Cr Paula Greenway at  the official opening on November 21) used a short break to sign a formal demand for an immediate special meeting.

Cr Chitty had tried earlier to raise her concerns over the absence of a signed contract as new business “of a very urgent nature that leaves the council at risk”.

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