Rescue plan may save local day care centre

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

A RESCUE plan for parents stranded by this month’s shock closure of Toodyay’s Great Beginnings day centre (left) may enable it to stay open under new local management.

An announcement last month that the centre would close on Friday October 11 has dismayed local working parents who face twice daily round trips totalling 112km to the next nearest day care centre in Northam.

The closure also affects parents who use after-school care between 6.30am and 6.30pm when Great Beginnings buses their children to and from Toodyay District High School.

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Nine contest six council seats

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

TOODYAY will gain at least four new faces on its nine-member shire council when a postal ballot for six vacancies closes at 6pm on Saturday October 19.

Three councillors have decided not to stand for re-election, leaving nine other candidates contesting six vacancies.

All Toodyay voters will for the first time be allowed to vote for all candidates regardless of where they live or own land.

The three councillors not standing again were among the six who voted for this year’s 2.5 per cent rates rise and supported a secret council backflip to re-employ shire CEO Stan Scott for another year with a 2.5 per cent pay rise.

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Toodyay apple pies judged Australia’s best

TOODYAY’S local bakery had its best result ever, scoring four gold and three silver medals at last month’s Great Aussie Pie Competition in Sydney.

Pastry chef Jodi Johnston’s cinnamon swirl crust on her apple pie made it stand out from the crowd.

Toodyay baker Jason Marion said he was extremely proud of his team, which uses local produce wherever possible.

Their award-winning pastries, cakes and bread helped attract visitors to Toodyay and boost trade for other Avon Valley small businesses, he said.

Toodyay Bakery’s first-year apprentice Olivia Jarquin (left) and pastry chef Jodi Johnston bake a fresh batch of their national award-winning apple pies.

Mighty Lions roar in nail-biter grand final

The Toodyay Lions celebrate their thrilling two-point Mortlock League footy grand final win after trailing Goomalling for most of last month’s epic showdown. Toodyay lost three times to Goomalling earlier this year, including a heavy semi-final defeat two weeks previously, and lost big man Ben Jenkins to injury after the first term. Photo: Chelsea Phelps.

Thousands of punters flock to 2019 Toodyay Picnic Races

Race 2 jump at the start of the 1100m Vernice Handicap. Photo: Clive Millett.

Plead The Fifth ridden by Ryan Hill wins the Toodyay Cup.

In the packed undercroft – Where’s Wally?


In the VIP enclosure (from left): Toodyay Shire Deputy President Therese Chitty, WA Nationals Party MP Jacqui Boydell, WA Nationals MP Martin Aldridge’s Electorate Officer Lisa Logan and WA Nationals Leader and Toodyay Race Club Patron Mia Davies.





Cup-winning owners Ed Hogarth (left), John Rigby and Ivy Hogarth from Perth-based Goldlight Nominees Syndicate.




Vino Art Exhibition open with a splash

This year’s Vino Art Exhibition opened at Toodyay’s Coorinja Winery with a feast of colour and a superb selection of local works for sale. The three-day show attracted several Perth buyers.

ELECTION SPECIAL: Who will you vote for?

About 45 people attended a “Meet the Candidates” evening event organised by the Toodyay Progress Association two days before the start of a voting package mail-out on Friday September 20 for this year’s Toodyay Shire Council elections, which close at 6pm on Saturday October 19.

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

ONE OF nine candidates contesting six vacancies on the Toodyay Shire Council says he lives in Perth and visits Toodyay every second weekend to stay in a hotel.

Another says he has seen no evidence of shire dysfunction and it is “good” the CEO’s contract was renewed last July.

And a third, one of two councillors seeking re-election, has put his house on the market to move interstate but says this could take years and there is “important unfinished business that I would like to see through”.

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Shire spends $700,000 on lawyers

– and that’s only in the last four years

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

THE SHIRE of Toodyay says it has spent a total of $699,481 of ratepayers’ money on lawyers in the last four financial years.

The figure was revealed by Shire President Brian Rayner (left) at last month’s council meeting in answer to a written question on notice from Cr Ben Bell.

President Rayner said the money was spent on nine different law firms.

The sum forms part of a larger amount dating back to 2013 when the shire spent $571,000 on a single law firm in a failed bid to sue two former civic leaders for $151,000 – and got back only $60,000 in return.

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Historic local winery celebrates 100th year

Tasting in full swing at last month’s Coorinja Winery centenary celebrations.

Visitors enjoy lunch in the sun at last month’s historic Coorinja Winery centenary celebrations

Wooden barrels of wine age in Corinja Winery’s historic cellar, the first built in regional Western Australia.

Shire tries to hide total failure of street cameras

A VIOLENT car-jacking in Stirling Terrace in which a woman was serious injured last month has exposed a complete breakdown in the town’s street video security network operated by the Shire of Toodyay.

None of the shire’s 19 video security street cameras mounted at key locations around town have worked for months.

A shire camera (left) outside the Toodyay Library facing last month’s car-jacking (see this month’s Police Beat column) was out of action when the crime occurred, and there was no shire video to provide evidence for police and insurers.

The shire decided several weeks ago not to replace faulty equipment at its Fiennes Street office but kept quiet about it to fool people into thinking that the cameras still worked.

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