Chalice shares crash as miner announces Julimar start date

By Michael Sinclair-Jones
CHALICE Mining shares crashed 30 per cent last month after the company revealed plans for a Julimar open-cut mine worth $18 billion to start production in six years’ time.

The shock market reaction caught the Perth miner by surprise but it hasn’t stopped plans to start processing up to 30 million tonnes of ore a year, starting in early 2029.

Chalice says local groundwater will not be used but has yet to announce how it will dispose of millions of litres of waste water contaminated by mineral processing.

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Whitewater drama at Extracts Weir

This year’s dry winter created havoc for power boats at Extracts Weir where low water levels turned the slippery rock wall into a formidable obstacle in last month’s 50th annual Avon Descent river race through Toodyay.

Vandals wreck Noongar cultural display at Redbank Pool

VANDALS have wrecked a local Noongar cultural interpretive display at Redbank Pool.

The site has historical significance as a traditional meeting place for local Ballardong and Yued families prior to colonial settlement.

It contains a bird hide with two large Gnulla Moort (Our Family) panels that describe how local Aboriginal people inhabited the area 200 years ago.

The damage was discovered early this month by Noongar Kaartdijin Aboriginal Corporation member Helen Shanks.

It appears that someone has used keys or a screwdriver to gouge through the descriptive artwork.

Toodyay police say they are investigating.

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Cr says budget fails ratepayers – doesn’t explain why

By Michael Sinclair-Jones
AN ACRIMONIOUS dispute erupted at the end of last month’s Toodyay Shire Council special meeting when members voted 6-1 to approve a seven per cent rate rise.

The increase aims to raise $7.6 million in ratepayer revenue this financial year.

Cr Mick McKeown (left) objected to the increase and other budget statements of account.

“In my opinion this budget does not adequately address the concerns of the ratepayers of Toodyay,” he said.

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Three council seats up for grabs

THREE sitting Toodyay shire councillors will recontest their seats at next month’s WA local government elections.

Shire President Rosemary Madacsi, Shire Deputy President Beth Ruthven and Cr Susan Pearce – whose four-year terms expire next month – have all formally nominated for the October 21 poll.

Nominations for three council vacancies close at 4pm on Thursday October 7 – one day after The Herald goes to press.

More candidates are expected to stand.

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Council elections

THE OCTOBER council elections are the first for some time to be conducted under the preferential voting system.

So, what should you do?

There are likely to be five or six candidates seeking election in Toodyay so you can number any number of boxes from one to five or six to select candidates in your order of preference.

It is your choice.

The first thing to remember is that you must number the candidates.

If you just put a tick or cross in, say, three boxes, your vote will be invalid and rejected.

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Peter Ruthven
West Toodyay

Miner struggles to win community trust

Environment a key issue but many know little or nothing about Julimar forest drilling

Drilling last year in Julimar State Forest – a State-registered Conservation Park in the Shire of Toodyay.

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

MOST people don’t fully trust Chalice Mining to act in the best interest of the local community, according to a new company survey of plans to mine Julimar Conservation Park and nearby farmlands.

More than 20 per cent of Toodyay residents said they don’t trust Chalice “at all”, another 18 per cent said they trust the miner only “slightly” and a further 36 per cent said Chalice can be trusted just “moderately”.

Only a quarter (25 per cent) of all respondents said they trusted Chalice “very much” or “extremely”.

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Brrrr, it’s cold, but local crops survive frost as Ukraine War drives up prices

LAST month’s cold snap is shown in this Nunile canola crop which was fortunately still too young to suffer any frost damage. Local farmers are watching Russia’s war in Ukraine as attacks on Black Sea ports drive up grain prices. Photo: Frank Panizza.

Frost, fog of war clouds outlook for local farmers

Toodyay Agricultural Alliance
By Frank Panizza

COOL and miserable weather continued to dominate local conditions last month.
Many farmers and residents have complained that this is one of the coldest Toodyay winters for many years.

Crops and pastures are still slow-growing and will continue to be sluggish until warmer days arrive in Spring.

Widespread frost – some on consecutive days – have dried local pastures.

It is unlikely to have harmed local crops because the frosts are too early so far to have caused any harm.

However, if frosts continue into next month’s critical period during flowering and grain development, they can cause extensive damage.

Grain markets have again been thrown into turmoil.

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$200,000 Wagyl trial cost feared

TOODYAY real estate agent Tony Maddox fears it may cost him $200,000 in legal fees to defend a charge of breaching State Aboriginal heritage law on his Nunile farm.

Northam Magistrate Donna Webb last month adjourned the hearing (court notice pictured left) to October 6 in Perth to enable a city trial date to be set.

Mr Maddox has pleaded not guilty to the charge, which carries a maximum penalty of nine months’ jail and a $20,000 fine.

He is being prosecuted by the State Government for building a vehicle crossing over Boyagerring Brook which flows inside his front gate and floods in winter.

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Shock decision to close Showgrounds bar

Rafter support beams sag under the weight of Toodyay Showgrounds bar roof.

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

DRINKS at this year’s Toodyay Agricultural Show are likely to be served from a temporary tent because the historic Showgrounds bar has been declared too dangerous to use.

Roof supports are sagging, termites have eaten the floor (pictured left) and strong winds threaten to collapse the rotted timber-framed structure.

The dilapidated shire-owned terrace bar was due to be demolished after last year’s Show but was still standing last month.

When the Toodyay Agricultural Society asked if it could be used again this year, the shire’s insurers said it was too great risk.

Councillors voted 7-1 in a shock move last month to “deconstruct” the building only two months before this year’s October 7 event.

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