Toodyay police get new State Emergency powers
POLICE in Toodyay have been granted State emergency powers to enforce strict new community health laws ordered by WA Premier Mark McGowan.
They include fines of up to $50,000 for people who fail to self-quarantine for 14 days after overseas or interstate travel, and up to $250,000 for businesses that ignore orders to close.
A local State of Emergency was declared last month in national measures to fight the world’s deadly new Covid-19 respiratory virus in communities such as Toodyay.
WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson has been appointed State Emergency Coordinator and is urging all West Australians to “support police in this challenging time but more importantly, support each other”.
The first Wheatbelt Covid-19 case was confirmed at Northam Hospital late last month and the number of Wheatbelt cases is expected to increase this month, including in Toodyay.Read more
No local deaths were reported at the start of this month.
Toodyay police are focussed on education rather than fines to help stop the virus spreading locally.
New emergency powers allow WA police to stop movement or close any road.
Travel to Perth or anywhere else outside the Wheatbelt is banned except for work, essential services, health or emergencies.
We will continue working to preserve local law and order but the Stirling Terrace police station will not be open to the public except in an emergency.
Anyone who wants to enter a police station will first need to be triaged (medically screened).
People can still call 000 for life-threatening emergencies, 131 444 for local police attendance or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 to report suspicious activity.
Booze bus operations will be limited but – despite what some people think – we will continue random roadside tests for drink and drug driving (see ‘Ecstasy hidden in car’).
The current situation is not an excuse to break the law – you will still get caught.
State health authorities are working closely with our regional office in Northam to help reinforce the message of social distancing to stop the virus spreading.
We want to emphasise is that if you don’t need to go anywhere – don’t.
Tragic double fatality
TWO YOUNG men were killed when their vehicle was torn in half after it failed to take a bend and hit a tree on the Toodyay-Bindi-Bindi Road, about five kilometres north of the town.
The accident happened shortly before 11pm on a weekend last month.
The driver and a passenger were the only occupants in the vehicle and no other vehicles were involved.
The accident is being investigated by the police major crash squad in Midland.
We want to again remind local people to please take more care on our roads.
Road deaths in small communities like ours always have a tragic impact on families, friends, workplaces, sports clubs and others.
The two young men were members of the local footy team and well-known in the community.
Ecstasy hidden in car
A MAN in his mid-20s was charged with drug and driving offences after he was stopped during a routine police traffic patrol on Toodyay Road last month.
Charges were laid after officers noticed that a vehicle heading towards Perth near Dryandra Road did not appear to be local.
The owner’s name triggered an alert when the vehicle’s registration number was checked in police computer records.
The vehicle was stopped and 10¼ ecstasy tablets (pictured) were found in a concealed plastic bag.
The incident occurred at about lunchtime on a weekend.
Local police generally don’t see much ecstasy in the community – drug finds are usually cannabis or amphetamines.