Inquiry report puts end to uncertainty
THE ENERGY in our community continues, the pool is open and the release of the Toodyay Inquiry Report on October 13 has brought some necessary clear air to accompany the nice weather.
The release of the long-awaited Toodyay Inquiry Report into the Shire of Toodyay brought relief and an end to uncertainty.
Although the outcome was not flattering, it was finally known.Read more
Recriminations serve little purpose, however, it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the distress the failings of our local government has brought to our community over the years.
It is also necessary to recognise the service of those community members, councillors and staff who over the years endeavoured to instil the good governance and fiscal management our community is entitled to receive.
I am grateful to all those who recognised the inadequacies and ‘did something’; it was not an easy choice and for many it was at considerable personal cost, but this spirit is also the strength of our community.
Council has a moral obligation to acknowledge the report findings and to take heed, to enact needed change and rebuild trust.
The Office of Auditor General will now undertake shire audits from the 2020/2021 financial year which may unfortunately increase costs.
As mentioned in my last article, October opened with a celebration of the completion of the Old Gaol restoration works, enriched by the attendance of WA Governor Kim Beazley and his enthusiasm for local history and his personal connection to a Toodyay convict ancestor.
Mid-month two important additions to our volunteer fire and emergency services were opened by the Minster for Emergency Services Francis Logan and Darren Klemm, Commissioner of Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES).
Credit for the smooth outcome of these recent works must be given to the shire’s Community Emergency Services Manager Robert Koch who project-managed both builds and was a strong advocate for the volunteers’ needs.
The newly completed Coondle-Nunile Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade base at the Coondle silos is an excellent, innovative improvement from the traditional fire shed design and a big change from the original home of 27 years the brigade occupied on Coondle West Road.
It was hard for many to leave and required a great deal of patience during the transition.
I hope their new home will serve them well – congratulations to all.
The Morangup Co-location Centre extensions were also opened. This is a testimony to the will and outstanding work and ingenuity of volunteers in transitioning from their one-bay shed of the early 1980s.
Through a succession of mostly self-funded builds, the one-bay shed morphed into four bays around 1994, was enlarged again in 2014 and finally with DFES funding in 2020, to a seven-bay fire and State Emergency Services base.
Congratulations Morangup – you epitomise community spirit.
The importance of these upgrades to our volunteers is significant and our volunteers’ value to our community cannot be overstated; they are simply fantastic and we are truly fortunate.
Recent changes saw the completion of the new CCTV network with 41 cameras and shire rangers now issuing warnings before a fine.
Nearly three years ago, Swan Gravel/Trico Resources on Toodyay Road near Morangup applied to Mundaring Shire Council to increase gravel extraction from 40,000 to 950,000 tonnes a year with increased vehicle movements from 20 to 132 per day.
Toodyay’s submission in 2018 requested stringent conditions be applied to the operation, so it was gratifying to hear the application was rejected, although it most likely will be appealed.
Just a reminder that soil moisture levels are low for this time of the year which means there is more fuel available, so please be mindful of activities which could cause a fire.
Make time to try the new pool – it’s a fantastic asset for the whole community.