Weather gods smile on Moondyne and Toodyay Fibre Festivals

Lock him up – Moondyne Joe’s gang tries to evade colonial coppers as a temperance woman shouts for their capture. Photo Peter Harms.

THE GODS must be smiling on Toodyay.

Last month’s Moondyne Festival (above) attracted thousands of visitors to Toodyay after an early heavy downpour was followed by a mild but mostly dry autumn day filled with fun and entertainment.

Then this month’s Fibre Festival (see below) struck it lucky again with a gloriously sunny winter’s day sandwiched between two heavy storms that swept across the state, bringing long-awaited rain for local farmers.

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Two new councillors for Toodyay

Former shire deputy president aims for Central Ward seat

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

TOODYAY will get two new councillors this month as a result of ‘extraordinary’ elections in the shire’s Central and West Wards.

Among the candidates is former deputy shire president John Prater, who served as an East Ward councillor from 2011 to 2013 before deciding last month to nominate again, this time in Central Ward.

Hoddys Well lawyer and anti-landfill campaigner Bill Manning, and Butterly Cottages President and Toodyay Men’s Shed Chair Jeff Roberts also nominated to contest the Central Ward vacancy.


Duke Street Bridge closure raises safety concerns

Two Public Transport Authority inspectors assess structural condition of Duke Street

pedestrian rail crossing.

THE STATE Government closed the Duke Street footbridge across Toodyay’s busy railway line last month after a woman was injured when she fell on the uneven surface.

She hurt her knee and right side and reported the accident to the Shire of Toodyay, which resulted in the Public Transport Authority posting a sign (left) closing the bridge for “inspection and repair”.

Perth PTA spokesman David Hynes said the authority “will investigate the most appropriate options for the bridge” after obtaining a structural report on its condition.

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40 buckets of snails and an ‘accidental’ Aussie

By Ieva Tomsons

WHEN Rosemary and Miska Madacsi (left) rolled into Toodyay in 1998, they came with a ton of enthusiasm and 40 20-litre buckets filled with snails.

On the past 20 years they have established new businesses, run the town’s first taxi service and contributed to numerous community events and volunteer groups.

They renovated the run-down Stirling House in Toodyay’s main street where they ran bed and breakfast accommodation and The Empire Tearooms, and built a snail-processing shed and massive straw-bale house on their West Toodyay farm.

But there is still no sign of the snails – yet.

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The party’s over – it’s time to cut shire rates

By Ben Bell

IT FEELS like a lifetime ago since Western Australia was enjoying the high-life thanks largely to the insatiable demand from China for this State’s iron ore and other mineral commodities.

During those days, house prices soared as people streamed across the Nullarbor from the eastern states to join the mining boom, incomes continued to rise and no one appeared to raise an eyebrow when being charged $15 or so for a beer at the pub.

It was during these hedonistic days that governments at all levels in Australia made big spending commitments and took on enormous levels of debt.

The local government of Toodyay was not exempt from this and, rather than using the good times to pay down debt and improve community services, it appears to have acted as if the mining boom was never going to end.

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Rain settles dust and eases growers’ worries

By Frank Panizza

Toodyay Agricultural Alliance

IT IS both a pleasure and a relief to be writing this article with the sound of rain on my roof which followed immediately after last month’s local dust storm (left).

Autumn has been dry again this year, making it two such years in succession.

Season-breaking rains were widespread across the shire in late May, much to the relief of local farmers, most of whom received more than 30mm on the last weekend of the month.

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Shire accused of ‘double standard’ in heritage fence dispute


1.2m green steel fence banned in central heritage area.

Two-metre green steel fence and limestone wall allowed in central heritage area.

A TOODYAY ratepayer claims the Shire of Toodyay has adopted a double standard by ordering him to dismantle a green 1.2-metre Colorbond fence on the side of his house in the town’s central heritage area.

Lawrence Tan says it cost him $1200 in wasted building materials.

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Taxi ferries thieves on fraudulent shopping spree


A PERTH taxi driver got the shock of his life last month when Toodyay police pulled over his cab in Oddfellows Street.

He had five passengers from Perth on what appeared to be a shopping trip through Midland, Gidgegannup and Toodyay, and was expecting a big fare.

But his passengers turned out to be a gang of thieves who had stolen several thousand dollars from a large number of shops, liquor stores and hotels – including at least four businesses in Toodyay – through fraudulent EFTPOS transactions.

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