Knuckle draggers

IT’S GOOD to see the lofty heights to which political discourse in Toodyay has reached as a Federal Election on Saturday May 21 draws closer.

It also gives some sections of our population a renewed purpose in life.

They steal around in the dead of night, dragging their knuckles along the ground, as they bravely remove the election posters of those parties they don’t like, leaving their chosen ones standing.

Fortunately, the majority of the electorate is in possession of human brains.

Allan Henshaw

Alarming attitude

I REFER to John White’s excellent letter in the February Herald about the importance of placing community above self in order to sustain a society long-term.

As a lifelong ‘people watcher’ I have been watching our community since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and some of what I have seen I find very alarming.

I have particular concerns about the negativity of some people towards public health safety requirements for vaccinations and masks.

This seems to me to focus entirely on ‘self’ and ignores the fact that these measures help play a significant part in protecting others, particularly the most vulnerable in our society.

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Name and address withheld by request.

Where’s Woylie?

THE JULIMAR Conservation Park’s ‘critically endangered’ Woylie is harder to spot in the pages of The Toodyay Herald than the elusive Wally in the Where’s Wally? children’s books.

Last month Nikkola Palmer’s letter flagged the omission of the species in the The Herald’s March Page 1 article.

And last month the Woylie again failed to get a mention in the Page 1 article on Chalice Mining’s activities – which did get a pointer to the company’s advertisement on Page 18.

It makes sense that exploration companies will run a country mile from mentioning the presence of any ‘critically endangered’ species in their area of interest.

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Clair Medhurst

Covid hits school, workers lose hours

Fake vaccination and mask exemption certificates prompt police warning of $1000 fines

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

THE COVID-19 virus is spreading through the Toodyay community with up to three new cases a day reported at Toodyay District High School before the Easter break.

More than 700 Wheatbelt cases were recorded in the first week of April, with new cases growing to 90 a day.

Increasing numbers of Toodyay residents were testing positive using Rapid Antigen Tests available at the town’s pharmacy and IGA store, and others were self-isolating at home after having been in close contact with people who tested positive.

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Town truck bypass back on shire agenda

Composite map of a $9 million Toodyay heavy haulage bypass that was proposed by the State Government in January 2001 and abandoned after local owners objected. The route passes behind Toodyay’s new River Hills residential estate (top centre).

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

TOODYAY residents will be asked if they want the State Government to build a new heavy haulage bypass around the town.

The town is currently served by a temporary heavy haulage route through residential streets west of the railway line.

It starts near Newcastle Bridge at Harper Road and ends where Hamersley Road meets Stirling Terrace opposite the former St Aloysius Covent of Mercy and includes a busy rail crossing near the town’s visitor information bay.

The temporary route contains five right-angle bends that road trains, low loaders, and large farm equipment can’t negotiate without crossing into oncoming traffic.

Many heavy trucks don’t bother to use it and go straight down Stirling Terrace instead.

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Appeals delay conservation park drilling

FIVE appeals – including one by the Shire of Toodyay – are continuing to delay plans to drill hundreds of holes to test for mining in Julimar Conservation Park, about 28km west of the Toodyay townsite.

Chalice Mining, which has already drilled more than 700 holes on nearby farms, was granted State Government permission last year to drill on existing forest tracks.

The appeals are against a permit granted in December to drill further into the forest.
The shire says it was told vegetation would not be cleared but the permit allows an “operational footprint” of 4.4ha (11 acres).

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Mystery Toodyay referees recommend discredited former CEO for new top job

TWO anonymous Toodyay referees have helped former shire CEO Stan Scott to secure a new highly paid job as Cuballing Shire CEO after 15 adverse findings against him were tabled in the WA Parliament less than two years ago.

Mr Scott was publicly censured for financial mismanagement, failures under local government law, conflict of interest and unethical conduct in seven years of mistakes and lapses that cost Toodyay ratepayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Former Toodyay councillors – the last of whom departed last October – were blamed for their ongoing failure as employers to manage Mr Scott’s performance.

It is understood some former councillors rejected the findings as “unfair”.

It is understood none of Toodyay’s current councillors or CEO provided the referee reports.

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Shire software rip-off

IN 2019 the Shire of Toodyay purchased a new financial management software program for no apparent reason.

The State Auditor General, though critical of many aspects of Shire financial reporting, indicated that the shire’s computer accounting system was adequate and not at fault.

The contract was awarded ‘behind closed doors’ to New Zealand company Datacom Pty Ltd by a unanimous council decision.

It should be stated that none of the present councillors were elected members at that time, and the Shire CEO was Stan Scott, who resigned the following year.

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Geoff Appleby

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