War on feral pig menace

TOODYAY has declared war on feral pigs.

The local shire is using a specialist contractor and cameras to stop increasing numbers of the voracious predators breeding in Julimar, West Toodyay and elsewhere.

Feral pigs pose a serious traffic hazard on local roads – three were hit by a passing truck on Toodyay Road in Morangup last month, and another was hit by a car on the Bindi Bindi Road in Bejoording last October.

They can destroy hectares of crops in a single night, contaminate harvests and are a declared pest throughout WA.

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Local farmers’ prayers answered as rain and warm weather boost canola and pastures

A Nunile grower finishes off this year’s cropping program. Photo: Andrew Thornton.

LOCAL farmers hoping for good opening rains had their prayers answered last month when very good falls of rain were received in all areas in our shire.

Isolated falls of more than 90mm were recorded, and heavy rain caused some sowing delays due to boggy paddocks, though the rain was most welcome.

The rain has given a massive boost to pasture growth as earlier autumn rains that germinated pastures were struggling.

Seat to remain vacant after councillor quits ahead of potential horror budget

AN ELECTION to replace former Toodyay Shire Cr Paula Greenway (left) who resigned at the end of April will be postponed until three other council seats fall vacant in October.

Last month’s council meeting also deferred discussing whether to cut the number of Toodyay councillors from nine to seven.

Cr Greenway’s surprise resignation citing “personal priorities, beliefs and morals” six months before her four-year term was due to expire in October leaves Toodyay’s remaining eight councillors with the task of finalising this month’s likely horror budget.

Shire President Rosemary Madacsi will hold a second casting vote to break 4-4 ties.

However, this won’t count for finance decisions such as budgets where State law requires the support of an absolute majority of at least five elected representatives in the normally nine-member council chamber.

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Moondyne mayhem captivates Toodyay

Toodyay really turned it on this month with a return to its much-loved annual Moondyne mayhem that began with a march through town, the capture of notorious local bushranger Moondyne Joe by colonial coppers, two stage trials in Stirling Terrace, a bevy of fine feathered floozies teasing the audience and a host of street stalls and entertainment that captivated visitors and costumed locals on a perfect autumn day. Local traders reported steady sales throughout the action-packed event. Photos: John Martens.

Toodyay Anzac Day Parade returns to annual tradition

Former Australian Army Cpl Warren Hall (white gauntlets) leads last month’s Anzac Day Parade in a return to traditional observance after last year’s lockdown.

Flags lowered for The Last Post during the Dawn Service at Toodyay’s Anzac Memorial Park.

Toodyay Shire Cr Brian Rayner and wife Jeanette Young at the RSL’s Gunfire Breakfast in the shire’s historic Wicklow Shearing Shed in Clinton Street.   

Toodyay RSL Gunfire Breakfast after the Dawn Service.

Toodyay Anzac Parade marches towards Harper Road underpass

Marching up Anzac Parade towards Clinton Street memorial.

Some of the many wreaths laid at Toodyay’s Anzac Memorial Park.

Service veterans and their families stand for a minute’s silence.

Toodyay RSL President Peter Brennan lays a wreath at Anzac Memorial Park 

Toodyay Community Singers perform Australia’s National Anthem. 

Toodyay RSL members share Anzac Day drinks toast over lunch at the Freemasons Hotel.

Council picks City of Perth commissioner for review

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

A FORMER City of Perth commissioner has been selected by the Toodyay Shire Council to conduct a formal governance review of the Shire of Toodyay.

The independent review was recommended by a year-long State Government inquiry into the operations and affairs of the scandal-plagued former Toodyay council and its disgraced former CEO.

The new council last month selected Perth specialist management consultants Hammond Woodhouse Advisory to conduct the review.

Principal Consultant Andrew Hammond (left) is a former CEO for the shires of Nannup and Wyndham East Kimberley, and the cities of Albany and Rockingham.

His company’s website describes Mr Hammond as the “principal systems architect and author of the integrated community strategic plans for the Cities of Albany, Rockingham and Perth”.

He was appointed by the State Government in 2018 as a commissioner “to restore good governance to the suspended City of Perth”.

He “led the City until the election of the new Lord Mayor in October 2020”.

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Huge shire debt based on wrong business case

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

THE FORMER Toodyay Shire Council used the wrong business case three years ago to justify burdening ratepayers with the biggest loan in shire history to pay for the town’s new $15 million sport and recreation centre.

The council voted 6-3 in December 2017 to borrow $2.7 million (later increased to $4.5 million) for the new facility but based its decision on a business case for a different project that was scrapped after only a fortnight because former CEO Stan Scott (pictured left with former shire president Brian Rayner) botched the figures.

The $2.7 million loan was in addition to a 2013 council decision to borrow $1 million to buy the rocky 13ha site on the eastern edge of town from Perth property developer Ironbridge Holdings.

Many Toodyay residents wanted only a long-sought public swimming pool, which shire costings showed would have required an easily manageable $60,000 loan.

Total loan debt for the newly completed project now stands at $5.24 million.

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Veteran councillor quits over morals

Cash-strapped shire seeks to avoid extra $23,000 cost by leaving council seat vacant until October.

 

By Michael Siunclair-Jones

THE Toodyay Shire Council will decide this month if it should hold an early election following the surprise April 1 resignation of veteran Cr Paula Greenway (left).

Cr Greenway said she was too busy to speak to The Herald on Easter Saturday but issued a brief email statement the next day saying she had resigned because she was “choosing to put my own personal priorities, beliefs and morals first”.

“I am not available for a conversation this weekend as I have priority family time.”

Cr Greenway’s resignation was not publicly announced or widely known until she responded to a phone call from The Herald over the Easter weekend.

Her four-year term is not due to expire until October.

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New pool packed for inaugural school swim carnival

It was a full day of sport, fun and relaxation (pictured above) for scores of Toodyay District High School students, parents friends as the shire’s new 25m public swimming pool hosted last month’s inaugural Faction Swimming Carnival. The program included competitive water events, novelty games and even a faction ‘dance-off’ contest for extra points. The Faction Swim Carnival ended with student, staff and parent 4 x 25m freestyle race. The contest was neck-and-neck for most of the race with parent and student teams leading first and second respectively into the last leg of the relay before the staff team powered ahead in the final stretch to “take the chocolates”.

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