Thousands of punters flock to 2019 Toodyay Picnic Races

Race 2 jump at the start of the 1100m Vernice Handicap. Photo: Clive Millett.

Plead The Fifth ridden by Ryan Hill wins the Toodyay Cup.

In the packed undercroft – Where’s Wally?

 

In the VIP enclosure (from left): Toodyay Shire Deputy President Therese Chitty, WA Nationals Party MP Jacqui Boydell, WA Nationals MP Martin Aldridge’s Electorate Officer Lisa Logan and WA Nationals Leader and Toodyay Race Club Patron Mia Davies.

 

 

 

 

Cup-winning owners Ed Hogarth (left), John Rigby and Ivy Hogarth from Perth-based Goldlight Nominees Syndicate.

 

 

 

Vino Art Exhibition open with a splash

This year’s Vino Art Exhibition opened at Toodyay’s Coorinja Winery with a feast of colour and a superb selection of local works for sale. The three-day show attracted several Perth buyers.

Shire spends $700,000 on lawyers

– and that’s only in the last four years

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

THE SHIRE of Toodyay says it has spent a total of $699,481 of ratepayers’ money on lawyers in the last four financial years.

The figure was revealed by Shire President Brian Rayner (left) at last month’s council meeting in answer to a written question on notice from Cr Ben Bell.

President Rayner said the money was spent on nine different law firms.

The sum forms part of a larger amount dating back to 2013 when the shire spent $571,000 on a single law firm in a failed bid to sue two former civic leaders for $151,000 – and got back only $60,000 in return.

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Historic local winery celebrates 100th year

Tasting in full swing at last month’s Coorinja Winery centenary celebrations.

Visitors enjoy lunch in the sun at last month’s historic Coorinja Winery centenary celebrations

Wooden barrels of wine age in Corinja Winery’s historic cellar, the first built in regional Western Australia.

Shire tries to hide total failure of street cameras

A VIOLENT car-jacking in Stirling Terrace in which a woman was serious injured last month has exposed a complete breakdown in the town’s street video security network operated by the Shire of Toodyay.

None of the shire’s 19 video security street cameras mounted at key locations around town have worked for months.

A shire camera (left) outside the Toodyay Library facing last month’s car-jacking (see this month’s Police Beat column) was out of action when the crime occurred, and there was no shire video to provide evidence for police and insurers.

The shire decided several weeks ago not to replace faulty equipment at its Fiennes Street office but kept quiet about it to fool people into thinking that the cameras still worked.

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Targa West rally turns shoppers’ car park into high-speed pit stop

Mechanics swarm all over and under this $160,000 Lotus Exige Sport 410 driven by Peter Rullo and James Marquet which came second in last month’s annual Targa West road rally through Toodyay. The Lotus can reach 0-100km/h in 3.4 seconds and has a top speed of 280km/h.

Mechanics replace a faulty hose on a rally car during last month’s Targa West lunch-time pit stop in Toodyay’s Charcoal Lane car park.

Under-chassis check in Charcoal Lane car park during last month’s annual Targa West car rally through Toodyay.

Brake discs replaced in Charcoal Lane car park during last month’s Targa West car rally through Toodyay.

 

Taking a lunch-time break (below and right) from last month’s Targa West car rally action in Charcoal Lane pit stop.

Rayner ordered to apologise

SHIRE President Brian Rayner has been ordered to publicly apologise to the Toodyay Progress Association (TPA) for breaching WA local government rules of conduct.

The order relates to the shire’s April 2018 Toodyay Community Newsletter which led Shire Deputy President Therese Chitty to determine that President Rayner and Shire CEO Stan Scott both breached the Shire Code of Conduct by publishing “derogatory and improper” statements about the TPA.

At a council meeting two weeks after the newsletter was published, TPA Chair Larry Graham asked President Rayner for details about Mr Scott’s claim of an “unprincipled campaign by The Herald and the TPA” in which “people are bullied and harassed for having a different point of view”.

President Rayner responded by claiming former Herald columnist Geoffrey Appleby had “published that he was out to get the CEO in his position as Secretary of the TPA”.

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Horse dispute prompts rates threat

Dave Wakeman (above) with Tommy at Coondle where he believes the shire is setting him up to fail in a five-year battle to keep two horses.

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

COONDLE resident Dave Wakeman says he will not pay rates due on his property this month because of a long-running dispute with the Shire of Toodyay over keeping two horses on his 2.2ha (6.5-acre) property.

“I will deduct $441 for a horse application fee that they required me to pay – only to set me up to fail,” Mr Wakeman said.

“Either that, or they can refund my money.”

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Toodyay charges into electric fast lane

TOODYAY has officially jojned an ‘electric highway’ from Perth to Kalgoorlie with the formal opening of a new two-bay electric car-charging station in the Charcoal Lane carpark, opposite the public toilets.

Shire President Brian Rayner (above) unveiled the twin-outlet electric car charger during last month’s Targa West car rally, where it was used to re-charge a Tesla Roadster electric car (pictured).

The shire received a $12,891 Federal Grant for the project and contributed a further $1250.

Other electric car charging stations have been installed at Midland, Gidgegannup, Merredin, Southern Cross and Kalgoorlie.

Council trio sits tight

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

THREE shire councillors say they will stay another two years instead of facing all Toodyay voters for the first time in October.

Their decision comes as the shire awaits the result of a formal State Government inquiry.

The three were elected in 2017 under a former ward system that barred most Toodyay people from voting in their elections.

Only 11 per cent of Toodyay’s 2500 electors voted two years ago for Shire Deputy President Therese Chitty, and only 8.3 per cent for Cr Paula Greenway (pictured).

Nobody voted for Shire President Brian Rayner because he was the only candidate to stand in the now-abolished North Ward.

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