Sopranos sock it to Toodyay as numbers swell for Blundell

By Jean Melhuish-Hill

WHAT a brilliant day for the festival which opened in Duidgee Park with Rattlegun Road; in Stirling Park with our own Toodyay Youth Choir (above) and in St Stephen’s Anglican Church with Nathan Ward.

A wide variety of music was performed during the day with hopefully something for everyone.

Our buskers, inckuding local guitarist Steve and friend (right) were also all around town at IGA, Cola Café, Freemasons Hotel, The Toodyay Bakery and The Victoria Hotel and what a diverse and talented group of performers they were.

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WA Nationals pledge $40m for ambos

LOCAL WA Nationals MP Shane Love says he hopes his party’s proposal to spend $1 million on a new independent advocacy group for St John Ambulance volunteers will prevent a repeat of last November’s shock dismissal of Toodyay sub-centre chair Charlie Wroth.

Mr Love is pictured (right) speaking out against Mr Wroth’s sacking in State Parliament last year

The Nationals’ $40 million March 13 State Election pledge also includes plans for more regional community paramedics and funds to ensure small sub-centres get access to the latest vehicles and equipment.

Mr Love said there was currently no appropriate process which allowed WA’s 11,000 ambulance volunteers to raise grievances, such as that which led to Mr Wroth’s dismissal.

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It’s raining money in arts cash splash

Labor doubles its Toodyay election bet with second $100,000 pledge.

Toodyay arts supporters and community leaders with WA Culture and Arts Minister David Templeman (front row, white shirt), local Labor MP Darren West (front row, third from right) and Labor’s Moore election candidate Barni Norton (blue dress, standing) at last month’s Labor announcement of $100,000 to help buy Toodyay’s former St Aloysius boys’ school (pictured behind) to turn into a local arts centre.

LABOR has pledged another $100,000 for Toodyay ahead of the March 13 State Election as part of a $1 million bid to win the Legislative Assembly seat of Moore from WA Nationals Deputy Leader Shane Love.

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Toodyay seniors to get first local Covid jabs

Local registered nurse Elaine (above left) and nurse practitioner Sue have undergone special training and are now formally certified to start vaccinating Toodyay residents.

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

TOODYAY is expected to start getting its first free Covid-19 shots at the end of this month.

First in line at the Alma Beard Medical Centre will be local residents aged 70 or older, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 55 or older.

Wheatbelt Health Network CEO Dr Harry Randhawa said he expected significant demand for the new life-saving vaccine.

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Shire CEO raises alarm over toxic landfill fires

Thick smoke partially obscures heavy earthmoving equipment (rear left) working to extinguish a second landfill fire at Hoddys Well last month.

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

TWO TOXIC fires at Toodyay’s controversial new landfill dump for millions of tonnes of metropolitan rubbish have caused the Shire of Toodyay to express concern to the State Government.

The first fire burnt for about two weeks underground at the Hoddys Well site last month.

It was followed a few days later by a surface fire in a different area that required three Toodyay fire units to help extinguish.

The second fire created a cloud of toxic smoke and caused State authorities to issue a hazard alert for nearby Clackline Road.

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Bell refuses to apologise to disgraced former shire CEO

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

TOODYAY Shire Cr Ben Bell has refused an official State order to apologise to disgraced former shire CEO Stan Scott (pictured left) for a series of Facebook posts two year ago.

Three apologies for breaches of the Shire Code of Conduct were published in the council agenda for Cr Bell to read out at last month’s council meeting.

But when invited by Shire President Rosemary Madacsi to read the apologies, Cr Bell asked her to pass on to the next agenda item, which she did after conferring briefly with Shire CEO Suzie Haslehurst.

Cr Bell later told The Herald that he couldn’t remember what he had posted on Facebook two years ago.

“I have no idea what I was supposed to apologise for so I let it go,” Cr Bell said.
“I’m not saying I didn’t do it but it was found to be only a ‘minor’ breach.

“We have much bigger things to worry about now than what happened two years ago.”

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Australia Day draws big crowd to new venue

WA Nationals President Steve Blyth addresses last month’s Australia Day celebrations at Toodyay’s new sport and recreation centre.

Toodyay Australia Day Awards nominees and winners* (from left): Donald Anderson, John Lucas*, Sean Byron, Sarah Otremba, Carolynne Haigh, Ian McGregor*, Kaye Rewell, Kyla Browne* and Willow Hitches*.

Kids enjoy Australia Day fun in the town’s new pool.

Local volunteer firefighters battle frightening Hills inferno

FRIGHTENING scenes confronted Toodyay volunteer firefighters when local brigades rushed to battle a huge uncontrolled bushfire that destroyed dozens of Hills homes this month and forced hundreds of residents to flee to emergency evacuation centres.

Toodyay Central Brigade members helped save the Noble Falls Tavern from being destroyed on the first night of the devastating inferno.

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Claimed $600,000 shire budget shortfall queried

Toodyay’s new $14 million Sport and Recreation Centre under construction last year.

 

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

A CLAIMED $600,000 budget shortfall at the end of November has prompted the Toodyay Shire Council to delay seeking a new $4.5 million loan to pay for the town’s new sport and recreation centre.

The shortfall was claimed in the shire’s November accounts which were presented to last month’s council meeting.

Councillors voted 2-4 not to accept the accounts after Cr Mick McKeown asked questions that CEO Suzie Haslehurst took on notice to be answered later due to corporate services staff absences.

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