Council meets online to pick new CEO

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

A NEW Shire CEO for Toodyay is expected to be chosen by the middle of this month.

Councillors had planned to hold face-to-face interviews with shortlisted applicants in the first week of this month but switched to video conferencing under new emergency restrictions to combat the Covid-19 virus.

The council last month appointed Corporate Services Manager Chileya Luangala as acting shire CEO while her boss, Stan Scott (right), is on extended sick leave.

Mr Scott took three weeks’ sick leave at short notice just hours before the council’s February meeting, extended it for another four weeks last month and is not due back at work until Monday April 20.

His temporary 12-month contract expires on July 22 after he failed last year to convince the council to re-employ him for a further three to five years.

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What does it all mean?

COVID-19: A type of coronavirus first reported last December in China which by the end of last month had infected more than 750,000 people in 176 countries and killed more than 36,000, including 17 in Australia.

There is no specific treatment for Covid-19 and scientists in several countries are working to develop a vaccine.

Most people recover on their own but can spread the virus to others while infected.

Coronavirus: Part of a group of related viruses that include Covid-19.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS): A coronavirus first reported in China in 2002 that infected more than 8000 people in 29 countries (six in Australia) and killed 774 worldwide (none in Australia).

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS or Camel Flu): A coronavirus first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 that infected more than 2500 people in 26 countries and killed more than 500 people (none in Australia).

Virus: A small infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of an organism.

Influenza (flu): An infectious disease caused by a virus that spreads by coughing and sneezing or touching contaminated surfaces and then touching the eyes, nose, or mouth.

The 1918 Spanish Flu killed up to 100 million people worldwide, including 15,000 in Australia.

New vaccines are constantly being developed to counter influenza virus mutations.

Cold: A viral disease of the upper respiratory tract that mainly affects the nose.

Colds have similar but less severe symptoms to influenza and are more likely to include a runny nose. There is no vaccine to prevent the common cold.

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How to stop touching your face






Toodyay Community Singer Anne, was put in her place by her pet dog when she just wouldn’t stop touching her face – see what happens when you don’t obey the rules?

Further shake-up as new president to quit


By Michael Sinclair-Jones

TOODYAY will get its third shire president in less than three years after retired State Government lawyer Bill Manning’s announcement that he will resign from the council next month and move to Tasmania.

President Manning and his wife have sold their Hoddys Well property and plan to leave for their new Launceston home on April 25.

The move comes as the council prepares to hire a new CEO and awaits the outcome of a wide-ranging State Government inquiry into the shire’s operations and affairs over the past seven years.

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Councillors argue over pay cut

Toodyay’s new shire council (above) at its first meeting last October: President Bill Manning (top table, second from right) next to Deputy President Rosemary Madacsi. Front table, from left: Crs Susan Pearce, Phil Hart, Beth Ruthven, Brian Rayner, Ben Bell and Therese Chitty (Cr Paula Greenway absent on approved leave). Executive Assistant Maria Rebane and Shire CEO Stan Scott are seated next to President Manning.

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

TOODYAY shire councillors have voted to cut their pay by 2.2 per cent after a heated debate last month about whether they should be paid more money.

Councillors voted 6-3 to receive 75 per cent of the maximum State Government allowance for meeting fees and cut the allowance for shire president and deputy to 60 per cent of the State maximum rate.

The decision was opposed by Deputy President Rosemary Madacsi, and Crs Phil Hart and Susan Pearce.

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Cigarette butt blamed for bushfire emergency

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

A CIGARETTE butt tossed from a passing vehicle is thought to have sparked a huge bushfire that threatened last month to destroy dozens of homes near an area devastated by Toodyay’s 2009 bushfire.

Local residents were warned to flee or get ready to fight an approaching inferno after the fire – “most likely” started by cigarette butt on Toodyay Road near Strahan Road (above) – started racing across dry farm paddocks and dense bushland towards Toodyay’s Wandoo Circle rural residential subdivision.

State fire authorities issued an emergency warning to all local residents at 5.17 pm on January 8.

“You are in danger and need to act immediately to survive – there is a threat to lives and homes in the Wandoo Circle subdivision,” the warning said.

“If the way is clear, leave now for a safer place – do not wait and see, leaving at the last minute is deadly.”

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It’s coming – our new pool is on the way

ABOVE: Frame of Toodyay’s new swimming pool entry, changerooms and administration centre (foreground), and new multi-purpose function centre behind. BOTTOM: Hole being dug for 25m pool.

WORK is well underway on Toodyay’s new $14 million Sport and Recreation Precinct, including a new 25m public swimming pool due to open by the end of this year.

The project has required heavy earthworks and blasting at the 14ha site behind Toodyay District High School.

The sport precinct consists of an eight-lane pool and aquatic centre, playing areas for hockey, rugby, soccer, netball, basketball and tennis, a multi-purpose function centre, kiosk and changerooms, and a parking area.

The shire has borrowed $4.5 million to fund the project and the rest will be paid by State and Federal grants, shire savings and budget allocations over the next three years.


State Solicitor receives shire inquiry report

AN OFFICIAL report on a year-long State Government inquiry into the Shire of Toodyay has been referred to the State Solicitor’s Office for assessment.

The WA Justice Department agency will decide if any part of the inquiry report should be withheld as evidence for prosecution before the findings are made public.

WA Local Government Minister David Templeman ordered the inquiry in late 2018 based on “reasonable suspicion” that the council had breached sections of local government laws and regulations.

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