Shire case into alleged breaches adjourned until May

THE CASE alleging the Shire of Toodyay has breached the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 was adjourned last month.

The matter is now listed for May 6 at the Northam Magistrates Court. This is the second time the case has been adjourned, the original listing being February 26.

The shire case relates to contracted works done in early 2023 to repair crossings on Toodyay Brook at Picnic Hill and Glendearg Road, as well as the Boyagerring Brook
crossing near the Toodyay District High School.

The shire faces a fine of $50,000 if the allegations are proven.

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Temporary Shire CEO appointed

SHIRE of Toodyay council in a special meeting in chambers on March 13 voted on a resolution to appoint a temporary CEO.

The unanimous decision by council was to appoint Tabitha Bateman, Executive Manager Corporate and Community Services, as Acting CEO until a permanent CEO is recruited.

Council minutes from the meeting state the “recruitment process for a CEO will take some time” – hence Ms Bateman’s appointment.

The current CEO, Suzie Haslehurst, commenced sick leave on the February 21 and leaves her role on April 9. Her departure is to be by Deed of Release with the agreed settlement amount being undisclosed.

CEO and Toodyay shire to part ways early (March 2024 edition)

SHIRE of Toodyay CEO, Suzie Haslehurst, will be leaving her role on April 9 – almost three months before her contract was to expire.

This early exit follows her commencing sick leave on February 21.

Ms Haslehurst states she will not be returning to her CEO role and added that “it’s been a challenging and rewarding time at the Shire”.

While absent from her CEO duties, she remains employed by the shire and an Acting CEO will be nominated from the executive management team.

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Number crunching the perfect barbecue snaggers

SNAGMETRICS refers to the number crunching Mr Perfect does at the end of each year.

And the numbers are in for 2023 – Mr Perfect had 4,128 blokes attend a BBQ – across Australia and the local BBQ saw 60 at Duidgee Park for the monthly meetups last year.

That’s a lot of snags eaten – in fact, the snag-counters at Mr Perfect HQ estimate 6,192 snags were chomped at the 313 BBQs hosted in 2023.

So, the Aussie BBQ is pretty popular; however, did you know that the term ‘barbecue’ has its origin in Central America?

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A wickingly happy story

LOCAL MAN Josh van Helsdingen has a hobby of building and installing wicking beds.

For readers unfamiliar with what a wicking bed is, imagine a giant ‘self watering pot’ in the form of a garden bed.

This waterwise garden innovation uses 50 per cent less water than traditional irrigation as there is less evaporation compared to top watered methods.

The basic idea is a garden bed designed to draw water up from a reservoir below – so ‘wicking’ up through the soil to the roots.

Hearing that the community group Toodyay Locals Care was planning to install a community garden behind their premises at 20 Fiennes Street, Mr van Helsdingen gave group founder Roz Davidson a call and offered to donate one of his wicking beds.

The offer was accepted and on March 2 he duly delivered a wicking bed to TLC.

Not only was the waterwise garden bed delivered – it was fully installed with all the additional kit to ensure a healthy growth of vegetables.

Ms Davidson said that the community would benefit from the wicking bed – the first of three.


Lack of feral control puts Julimar fauna at risk

Julimar Conservation and Forest Alliance (JCFA)
By Sharon Richards

JULIMAR Forest has an interesting history of being home to a number of iconic Western Australian small mammal species.

This historically includes the numbat, and currently the Western Quoll (Chuditch – picture to left), the Woylie, Brushtail Possum, Black Flanked Wallaby, Quenda and Bandicoots.

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Shire faces charges over Aboriginal Heritage Act (February 2024 edition)

Shire in hot water over creek crossings

by Sean Hefferon

LAST month the Shire of Toodyay received two notices of prosecution from the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage acting on a complaint and after a subsequent investigation alleging breaches of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972.

A week after receiving the notices, a Special Council Meeting approved expenditure of up to $15,000 to obtain legal advice and representation.

The shire faces a fine of $50,000 if the allegations are proven.

These allegations relate to shire works undertaken in early 2023 to repair crossings on Toodyay Brook at Picnic Hill and Glendearg Road, as well as the Boyagerring Brook crossing near the Toodyay District High School.

Tony Maddox at the Boyagerring Brook crossing near the Toodyay District High School

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Toodyay Cup is back for 2024

Shire votes 4-2 and the Toodyay Cup is back in town

by Sean Hefferon

TWO Special Council Meetings were held late last month.

The first meeting considered items that had not been dealt with due to the adjournment of the December 2023 Ordinary Council Meeting.

The December meeting was adjourned when two elected members and an executive manager left the meeting to attend to the fire emergency that had commenced earlier that day.

A number of items were considered at the first meeting including a proposal from the Toodyay Race Club seeking Shire support for various remediation works that would
enable the Toodyay Cup and Picnic Race Day to occur on 22 September 2024.

Key to the proposal’s success was the Shire agreeing to fund the replacement of the roof and guttering over the Tote and horseshoe public bar area.

The proposal and the Shire officer’s recommendation in respect to it was debated in council.

Out of the starting gates at the Toodyay Races.

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