EACH month a friend visits me in Shoalwater and brings me the latest Toodyay Herald.
There is always something of interest for non-residents and I was amazed to learn that it is compiled by volunteers and is a not-for-profit community-run newspaper.
With local newspapers closing their doors or now publishing only online, Toodyay residents should be very happy that they have such a high-standard free paper providing local news.
I am not the only fan of the paper in Shoalwater as a neighbour is always keen to know if I have finished reading it.
It would be fantastic if retrenched or retired journalists in the Rockingham area could get together to produce a similar newspaper to The Toodyay Herald.
THE RECENT decision by the Toodyay Shire Council to refuse an application to demolish a walkway that connects the local Catholic Church to an adjacent heritage-listed convent building is a win for the community and for governance in our town.
The decision to refuse the demolition application and for council to adhere to its own planning policy was carried 7-0.
Councillors stood firm in their resolve to follow their own policy despite the shire’s consultants and initially the shire’s administration recommending that demolition could be supported.
The developers may still get their own way via an appeal to the State Administrative Tribunal.
Despite this, our councillors have demonstrated a firm desire not only to adhere to shire policies but to work together co-operatively, something for which they should be commended.
At a public meeting three years ago attended by former shire CEO Stan Scott, I asked what the shire’s vision for the precinct was.
Mr Scott replied that to his knowledge there was none.
Following that meeting, the Friends of the Toodyay Catholic Precinct (Inc) was formed.
Our group is heartened that our civic leaders now appreciate the importance of the precinct, the heritage buildings contained within it and the value that those heritage buildings have to our community, especially because they are situated at the gateway to our historic town.
Friends of the Toodyay Catholic Precinct
I WOULD like to reply to Richard Hazlewood’s letter ‘Voter betrayed’ in the August edition of The Toodyay Herald.
It seems that Mr Hazlewood does not understand the duties and responsibilities of Christian Porter in his capacity of Attorney General of the Commonwealth.
In addition to the duties of a normal Member of Parliament, a minister in the Federal Government swears an oath to faithfully perform the duties required for the portfolio.
The Attorney General, as first law officer of the Commonwealth, is obliged to defend the Australian Constitution and it is normal for the Commonwealth, through the Attorney General to intervene in any dispute before the courts that involves the Constitution.
The Commonwealth intervenes to defend the Constitution and it would be absolutely abnormal for the Commonwealth to have no role in such a dispute.
In the case of the border closure, the Commonwealth was defending the provisions of the Constitution, and this is a normal position to take regardless of the identity of the parties.
Any citizen has the right to go to court in support of a position and the courts apply the law as it stands.
The Constitution can be changed only by referendum.
It cannot be changed by court action – it can only be upheld.
In my opinion, the State Government should lose the case because it seems to be on the wrong side of the Constitution.
I think the Premier also knows this and this is why he has brought in all the emotional arguments to get the population on side.
The court should rule according to law and not be swayed by emotion, especially when it comes from a politician.
Finally, just because a position is popular does not mean it is right or legal.
I do not believe that a State Premier should have the power to lock up the state or restrict the movement of the people because this constitutes authoritarian rather than democratic government.
IT IS with much sadness and disappointment that I have to let you all know that Fun and Fitness exercises will not be resuming on Wednesday September 2 as previously thought.
We are unable to resume safely this month because WA’s Covid-19 restrictions have not been lifted.
I am bitterly disappointed that is the case but we will resume as soon as possible.
Stay safe everyone and keep on exercising at home.
AN OPEN letter sent to Federal Attorney General and local MP Christian Porter.
I HAVE been a committed Liberal voter since arriving in Australia in 1972.
In 48 years, I have never missed an election at Federal, State or Local Government levels and have always voted for the conservative option.
I should add that I have always admired your own contribution both when in State Government and subsequently in Federal Government.
In these exceptional times, I believe our Prime Minister is doing a wonderful job but must also acknowledge my admiration for (WA Labor) Premier Mark McGowan.
It saddens me to say this but if the Federal Government continues to push an agenda for (Queensland mining magnate) Clive Palmer, who has been no friend to the Liberals, regarding the WA border closure, then I shall have no choice but to refuse the Liberals my vote at the next Federal Election.
Whether I make a donkey vote or change sides it’s too soon to say, but with the enormous contribution WA is making to our economy in these difficult times and the success Premier McGowan has had in protecting Western Australians, I feel betrayed by the party I have always supported.
I will encourage all my friends and family to do the same.
(The Federal Government has since withdrawn from the High Court case ‒ Ed.)
BRIAN Foley’s letter to the editor last month stated that it is illegal to shoot a kangaroo.
This statement is inaccurate and is likely to be misleading to the general public.
Farmers – indeed all property owners – in large areas of WA, including the Shire of Toodyay, are permitted to manage damage caused by fauna (specifically kangaroos) without requiring a licence from the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions.
Western Grey kangaroos may be shot quite legitimately by farmers according to Regulation 104 of the Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2018.
Shooting kangaroos is a serious matter and not undertaken by farmers for fun.
Huge costs are involved in preparing paddocks and sowing crops on large acreages which can be rendered totally worthless when vast numbers of kangaroos destroy it.
That cost is compounded by lost income from the damaged crop.
If your livelihood was a bakery selling cakes would you try to chase mice away or would you take measures to eradicate rodents and minimise your losses?
Let farmers get on with their legitimate farming enterprises.
If Australia can’t maintain a viable primary industry, we could all finish up buying rice from China to feed our kids.
I HAD a letter regarding the killing of kangaroos published in last month’s Herald.
There are some facts that were not included in the letter.
Permits from Department Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions are required if the carcass will be removed from the property.
If a native animal is causing economical damage, then it can be killed without seeking a permit.
Killing for fun or non-economic reasons is unlawful.
Brian Foley -Chairperson
Marsupial Mammas and Pappas Inc.
IN A LETTER to the Editor in last month’s Herald, Brian Foley stated that it is illegal to shoot kangaroos without a permit.
This statement is incorrect and misleading.
According to State Government Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2018, all landowners including farmers are permitted, under certain conditions, to shoot kangaroos.
“Managed fauna areas are for property owners to manage damage being caused by fauna in certain areas without requiring a licence.
“Regulation 104 outlines this for kangaroos and states in part:
- (2) A person must not take a kangaroo of a species specified in Schedule 4 unless:
- (a) the kangaroo is causing, or is reasonably expected to cause, damage to an agricultural activity or related agricultural infrastructure;
- (b) the taking is by means of a firearm and,
- (c) the kangaroo is shot in accordance with the Code of Practice for Non-Commercial Purposes.
“Under the Biodiversity Conservation Regulations, Schedule 4: Managed fauna,
Division 2: Kangaroos Item 3 includes Toodyay local government district within the managed fauna areas for Western Grey Kangaroos.”
The above is quoted from the Wildlife Protection Branch of the Parks and Wildlife Service in the WA Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.
I would urge Mr Foley to read the last sentence of Rosemary Madacsi’s letter in last month’s Herald – “check the facts”.
AS A LOCAL, it’s probably best to frequent your favourite Toodyay cafe, restaurant and shop during the week because there’s no room on weekends.
What an awesome sight the last few weekends have been, domestic tourism at its best.
Excited and inquisitive groups, families and couples wandering the streets, cameras clicking, long lines and a rush for any vacant table. This warms my heart.
We are becoming that uniquely country experience – a day trip from the city.
I encourage businesses to capitalise on this as people heed the State Government’s call to Wander out Yonder.
Remember, it is the experience that visitors crave and they take that experience home and share it with family and friends.
Most visitors are chasing something a bit country and something a bit unique, with authenticity, and always with customer service thrown in.
Yeah, yeah, sometimes there might be a visitor that can be just a tad annoying and that’s fine, don’t sweat it.
I say this because I was gob smacked to witness a shopkeeper complaining to someone about a visiting group while I was in their shop. Please don’t.
For the rest of our wonderful shopkeepers who I know provide long hours, endless smiles, hospitality galore and proudly show off and promote what our fabulous town has to offer – a huge thank you.
Yep, I have said it before, but we are the ‘next best thing’.
CONGRATULATIONS and thank you all for a ‘spectacular’ response to the call for all your old specs.
You can be assured that they have gone to a prison where inmates are trained to repair and re-assemble spectacles that are provided to organisations such as the Fred Hollows Foundation and Barefoot Surgeon to help people in Third World countries.
Patricia de Soto Phillips