AS STATED by others last month, I too am concerned about our environment, having lived with the Julimar Forest on my boundary fence all my life.
My father, Harry Cook, was an apiarist and we would quite regularly go out behind the farm into the Julimar Forest to check for seasonal blossoms and bee sites.
I was bought up loving Jarrah trees and the bushland as much as any naturalist.
However, I am also concerned about our town’s future if the community as a whole does not look at the bigger picture and welcomes industry into the shire.
As a small country town, as soon as many of our local students finish their education, they leave town for better job prospects.
The majority never return to settle and raise families, meaning – looking into the future – if there is nothing to hold them in Toodyay, we will have an aging community.
So, when you sign that next petition or discuss drilling by Chalice Mining in Julimar Forest over a cuppa, please consider our youth, who might be interested in staying in Toodyay after getting training.
This might be possible due to the huge employment opportunities that will be created if the mining industry is allowed to proceed in our shire.
For those in town who are concerned about the Echidna or Forest Red Tailed Black Cockatoo in Julimar, well I am too.
Only for the reasons that an ever-increasing amount of wildlife is being hit by vehicles speeding out of the shire while being driven to work, or tourists coming up for the day to visit.
The wildlife death toll on the side of or in the middle of Julimar Road heading towards Chittering is extensive.
It includes not only the recently publicised Chuditch but possums, carpet snakes, kangaroos, wallabies, emus, echidnas, Blue Tongued Lizards, magpies, racehorse goannas and, unfortunately, slow-rising Carnaby Cockatoos.
Some in our community are worried about the number of creatures that will leave the area if Chalice gets the chance to mine.
I believe they are taking for granted the number of wild creatures being killed on Julimar Road right now.
Toodyay has a history of small groups of people opposing anything new that might change the atmosphere of our ‘quiet little town’.
After the damage has been done – such as the loss of the Deep Space Ground Station “The Dish” to New Norcia (to become a major attraction), the possibility of new abattoirs and the town by-pass fiasco – these people often then leave town.
Please let us hope that a vocal minority does not ruin another opportunity to provide employment to the town and funding for our local community groups.
Our property would have gone up in flames had it not been for a lucky change in wind direction when Toodyay’s 2009 bushfire burnt through Julimar Forest along the back of our farm.
The forest took the brunt of the fire and some areas burnt so hot that it was like a moonscape – just white ash and nothing left.
Wildlife, if not able to escape the flames, was never seen again.
But the forest regenerated over time and still stands today, still growing, and will still be here after your families and mine – and an eco-friendly mining company such as Chalice – have long left the ground.