All-woman team takes over

Historic vote as 5-4 majority elects new shire president & deputy, and appoints new female CEO


New Toodyay Shire President Rosemary Madacsi is sworn in by Cr Brian Rayner JP, with former president Bill Manning watching (rear right) and Crs Paula Greenway (back to camera), Ben Bell and Therese Chitty.

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

TOODYAY has its first female shire president and will get its first woman CEO after two historic 5-4 votes by a new majority of councillors elected last October.

The council also voted 6-3 to elect a new female deputy president in a clean sweep for women in the shire’s top leadership roles.

Veteran Cr Rosemary Madacsi – who was elected deputy president last year after winning a postal ballot of all Toodyay voters – is the new shire president.

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Driveway vigils salute fallen

Toodyay RSL

By Heather Brennan

ON ANZAC Day we honoured those “who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations” and “the contribution and suffering of all those who have served.

“Lest we forget”.

This year’s Anzac Day could only be described as one of the most-moving commemorations we have participated in.

Anzac Day should never go unmarked, therefore our sub-branch sought a safe and fitting way to undertake our commemoration.

This gave rise to an early morning service undertaken by Toodyay RSL President Peter Brennan,who laid the first wreath  (left), flags were raised at an eerily vacant and solemn Anzac Memorial Park, the ode was recited and the Last Post and Rouse played.


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Whole shire pegged as Julimar find sends shares skyrocketing

By Ieva Tomsons and Michael Sinclair-Jones

TOODYAY townsite and most of the shire has been blanket pegged for nickel after “spectacular” results from test drilling on a Julimar cattle farm (marked with red dot on map, left) 30km west of the town.

Chalice Gold Mines shares skyrocketed 700 per cent last month amid claims that Julimar could become a major new nickel province of significant strategic importance for Australia.

The Julimar find includes high-grade nickel, cobalt and copper which Chalice said were “very important” in batteries for Tesla and other electric cars, and palladium which is used to manufacture hydrogen fuel cells and control vehicle pollution – all highly valuable metals on world markets.

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Farmers pray for opening rains

By Frank Panizza Toodyay Agricultural Alliance

WAITING for rain – this appears to be the theme around the agricultural areas throughout our shire and most of the Wheatbelt.

Light rainfall was received by farmers and residents alike in April but the amount fell short of the monthly average.

Official records for Toodyay reveal that April rainfall on average is just over 25mm.

Most areas within the shire recorded 10mm or less.


Looking like a Martian lander at sunset, this local air seeder (above)

was used last month to plant a Nunile crop. Photo Frank Panizza.

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Toodyay in lockdown

TOODYAY is in emergency lockdown as local doctors, police, the Shire of Toodyay, schools, churches and shops take drastic action to help stop the deadly Covid-19 virus spreading through the Wheatbelt.

All local churches and hotels have shut, liquor store sales are restricted, school attendance is now voluntary, many shops are shut and travel to Perth is banned except for approved purposes such as work or health.

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Council meets online to pick new CEO

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

A NEW Shire CEO for Toodyay is expected to be chosen by the middle of this month.

Councillors had planned to hold face-to-face interviews with shortlisted applicants in the first week of this month but switched to video conferencing under new emergency restrictions to combat the Covid-19 virus.

The council last month appointed Corporate Services Manager Chileya Luangala as acting shire CEO while her boss, Stan Scott (right), is on extended sick leave.

Mr Scott took three weeks’ sick leave at short notice just hours before the council’s February meeting, extended it for another four weeks last month and is not due back at work until Monday April 20.

His temporary 12-month contract expires on July 22 after he failed last year to convince the council to re-employ him for a further three to five years.

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What does it all mean?

COVID-19: A type of coronavirus first reported last December in China which by the end of last month had infected more than 750,000 people in 176 countries and killed more than 36,000, including 17 in Australia.

There is no specific treatment for Covid-19 and scientists in several countries are working to develop a vaccine.

Most people recover on their own but can spread the virus to others while infected.

Coronavirus: Part of a group of related viruses that include Covid-19.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS): A coronavirus first reported in China in 2002 that infected more than 8000 people in 29 countries (six in Australia) and killed 774 worldwide (none in Australia).

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS or Camel Flu): A coronavirus first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 that infected more than 2500 people in 26 countries and killed more than 500 people (none in Australia).

Virus: A small infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of an organism.

Influenza (flu): An infectious disease caused by a virus that spreads by coughing and sneezing or touching contaminated surfaces and then touching the eyes, nose, or mouth.

The 1918 Spanish Flu killed up to 100 million people worldwide, including 15,000 in Australia.

New vaccines are constantly being developed to counter influenza virus mutations.

Cold: A viral disease of the upper respiratory tract that mainly affects the nose.

Colds have similar but less severe symptoms to influenza and are more likely to include a runny nose. There is no vaccine to prevent the common cold.

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How to stop touching your face






Toodyay Community Singer Anne, was put in her place by her pet dog when she just wouldn’t stop touching her face – see what happens when you don’t obey the rules?

Further shake-up as new president to quit


By Michael Sinclair-Jones

TOODYAY will get its third shire president in less than three years after retired State Government lawyer Bill Manning’s announcement that he will resign from the council next month and move to Tasmania.

President Manning and his wife have sold their Hoddys Well property and plan to leave for their new Launceston home on April 25.

The move comes as the council prepares to hire a new CEO and awaits the outcome of a wide-ranging State Government inquiry into the shire’s operations and affairs over the past seven years.

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