I FARM a property west of Bolgart in the Toodyay Shire with my husband and sons and upon receiving our rates for 2018/2019 I would like to point out the following.
Last year’s rates for five different neighbouring properties increased by up to 16.8 per cent due to a differential rating system.
I am unsure how Toodyay Shire Cr Ben Bell calculated this year’s 0.6 per cent rate rise for farming properties as quoted in the last month’s Herald.
Our rate in the dollar increased by 0.6 per cent but our unimproved land values also rose by up to 3.4 per cent, and thus our overall rate increase across our farming properties is 2.55 per cent.
This is well above the shire’s advertised rate of 2.2 per cent and similar to rate increases quoted in The Toodyay Herald for other parts of the shire.
The unimproved value of our properties is multiplied by the rate in the dollar to ascertain the total dollar value in rates paid.
Since 2003, rural properties have shouldered a disproportionate increase in rates due to a previous council decision.
When questioned at the time, the council could not provide any evidence of why one part of the shire had become more expensive to administer than another.
This has meant the proportion paid by broadacre properties has risen by about a third and non-rural properties have decreased proportionally.
It has occurred during a time when the number of broadacre farms has decreased and lifestyle properties increased.
I believe that we have and will continue to pay our fair share.
A SHORT time ago I was confronted by an event that reinforced my view that the folks in this town are just a bit special.
Cut to the scene: It appears that a chap had collapsed alongside his car in the car park adjacent to the bank and a lady passing by noticed and stepped up.
I don’t know her name but she was one of these quiet impressive people and what must have only been a few minutes later, as I was over the road and saw her standing over someone lying on the ground, I went over to see if everything was OK.
That very calm and capable lady had done all that was necessary; she had correctly diagnosed the problem, taken corrective action, had it all under control and by then one of our ambulances was on the way.
This essential service is of course staffed by fantastic unpaid volunteers.
What happened over the next half an hour was remarkable; staff from the bank and other businesses came out to see what they could do, an off-duty ambulance officer and his spouse turned up and played a wonderful role while the ambulance was on its way.
Another chap noticed that there was a dog in the back of this chap’s car so he opened the window to calm it and allow fresh air to the animal.
Staff from Heartlands Veterinary Hospital turned up and took care of the dog, passers-by found towels, blankets and tissues to make things more comfortable for this poor chap and then the ambulance arrived.
The professional, calm and very, very caring officers took control and with the assistance of the folks there, they lifted the chap onto the gurney and then off he went to hospital.
Somewhere in all of this the lady who was first on the scene just drifted away – her job was done.
She was impressive and the genuine concern of everyone who turned up to help a chap that nobody knew was apparent; it was an amazing demonstration of the caring community of which I am proud to be part.
WE WROTE to the Shire of Toodyay CEO and Shire President about our 100 per cent disgust over their claim in August that some of the 60 per cent of local people who signed a recent rates petitions are hysterical and uninformed.
We asked for a public apology, yet neither a letter nor an apology appeared.
‘Hysterical’ is characterised by or arising from psychoneurotic hysteria in which physical bodily functions are disordered and is marked by excessive or uncontrollable emotion.
We were also accused of being uninformed.
What a brainy insight when the shire does not provide us with information – a lack of transparency and good management.
Don’t the CEO and president know they are employed by the people of Toodyay who pay their income?
Don’t they know or even care that we live in a democracy?
It was said in August that the new rates increase is worth only the cost of a “pack of cigarettes”.
Maybe smoke is coming out of our ears, but not due to cigarettes.
The shire’s new draft tourism strategy was to be presented in March, and now appears five months later with requests for submissions.
A public meeting due last month was postponed to October in another sign of disregard for local development needs.
What do we need?
Out with the present regime or we will become a ghost town.
Dr Monika Zechetmayr
and Peter Edwards
THANK you very much for including in last month’s edition of The Toodyay Herald the September Farmers Market item that you received so close to the deadline.
It is much appreciated.
ALOPECIA is a lifelong condition affecting men and women who are unable to grow hair.
Generally they require hair wigs for life and the best wigs are made in New Zealand.
I propose that I and others with long, natural hair which has never been exposed to chemical products offer our hair to Clip for a Cause.
This event will take place at the Toodyay Hair Studio on Stirling Terrace in February 2019; the exact date to be advised later.
People affected with alopecia will be at the studio on the day to tell their stories so you can learn how important your donation will be.
We are giving notice now so that you can allow your hair to grow – 30cm is the minimum length to be cut.
Ideally, hair should be washed within 24 hours of cutting and all ages are welcome (parental approval may be required for juniors).
I personally have grey hair at 82 years young and when 30cms is cut, I will still have enough left to grow for another clip.
Patricia de Soto-Phillips