Turning a corner
WHAT a year it has been.
Who could have seen how so many lives would be so dramatically affected, not only in Toodyay but all over the world?
The sight of our main street deserted with normally busy shops shuttered for six weeks in March and April was like a scene from an apocalyptic science fiction movie.Read more
Borders closed as police and military roadblocks kept us isolated – and safe – from a deadly virus that continues to devastate the rest of the world.
Millions of people worldwide lost their jobs, local schools closed and anxiety spread through our community.
New words like ‘Covid’, ‘pandemic’, ‘lockdown’, ‘quarantine’ and ‘isolation’ were suddenly on everyone’s lips.
Toodyay bunkered down and stayed home to ride out the storm, not knowing how long it might last.
You have only to look at what happened in Victoria to see how lucky we were to have dodged that deadly bullet.
And while all this was going on, our community was being wracked by seemingly endless civic turmoil with two shire presidents, a beleaguered shire CEO on sick leave, a divided council and a key election overshadowed by a State inquiry into chronic civic mismanagement.
It could have been a recipe for disaster but for the calm intervention of acting shire CEO Chileya Luangala who surely deserves a medal for not only keeping our shire running effectively during a national emergency but also for freezing rates.
We now appear to have turned a corner.
State borders are re-opening, life-saving vaccines are near release and local tourism is thriving like never before.
This month’s Herald front page says it all – a beautiful new swimming pool, another national food award and bright prospects for an important new green energy industry that promises to put Toodyay on the world map.
If the high standard of public debate at last month’s three shire council meetings is a guide, we may also be entering a period of much better local government.
Not everyone will agree with the outcomes but the absence of shouting, glaring, smirking and patronising condescension in the council chamber augurs well for our community’s future.
We have a lot to be grateful for in an extraordinarily challenging year – let’s keep up the good work as we look ahead to 2021.
May you all enjoy a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.