Historic Toodyay convent to become ‘luxury’ tourist resort with pool

TOODYAY’S heritage-listed Mercy Convent (pictured right) at the town’s main entry is to be revamped as a “luxury” short-stay tourist resort.

The iconic site is currently zoned “mixed business” and forms part of the historic Roman Catholic Church precinct which dates back to 1863.

The precinct was recently subdivided and sold as separate lots.

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Bid to stop alleged bullying defeated

A BID to stop alleged bullying, abuse and denigration of Toodyay shire councillors and staff was defeated 4-3 at a council meeting last month.

The alleged behaviour was claimed to have caused staff resignations and sick leave, and prompted people to be too fearful to speak.

Former shire president Rosemary Madacsi raised the allegations in a notice of motion at the November council meeting.

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Early local harvest disrupted as unusual heat prompts fire bans

Harvest bans prompted by last month’s hot weather disrupted this year’s early local harvest, forecast to be much smaller than last year’s record crop due to an unusually dry spring. This photo by Linda Panizza shows canola harvesting near Nunile.

Racist vandal attacks Toodyay Friends of the River display

A RACIST attack on a public plaque at Millards Pool will cost about $500 to repair.

It follows a similar attack in August at Redbank Pool where an Aboriginal display was damaged at the heritage-listed site.

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Thousands brave scorching hot day to revel in 169th Show

Temperatures soared on Show day but that didn’t curb the enthusiasm of thousands of locals and visitors who flocked to Toodyay last month for one of the best country agricultural shows in WA. Bushfire brigade volunteers switched from knocking down traffic cones with high pressure hoses to spraying laughing kids running through the water, while gasping Show chickens cooled off with water on the chookhouse roof. Sideshow Alley (above) was a magnet for kids and the evening fireworks display was the best ever. More photos in digital edition Page 5.

Voters call for change

Toodyay’s new council, (front table, from left): Crs Steve McCormick, John Prater, Danielle Wrench, Charmeine Duri and Rosemary Madacsi. Rear bench: new Shire President Mick McKeown (centre) and new Shire Deputy President Shelly Dival (right).

 

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

TOODYAY has two new civic leaders with Cr Mick McKeown as Shire President and new Cr Shelly Dival as his Deputy.

Cr Dival topped last month’s shire poll with 663 first preference votes, or 42 per cent of the 1569 ballots cast.

Former shire president Rosemary Madacsi polled second with 290 primary votes (18.5 per cent), and former shire deputy president John Prater filled the third vacancy after a 10-year absence with 220 votes (14 per cent).

More than half of Toodyay’s 3639 registered voters didn’t vote, meaning nobody got more than 18 per cent of all votes in the electorate.

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Large Toodyay no-show for Aboriginal Voice referendum

MANY Toodyay voters appear to have ignored last month’s compulsory Federal Referendum to give Aboriginal people a Voice in Australia’s Constitution.

Of the 1286 votes cast in Toodyay, 75 per opposed the Voice, which was defeated in WA (64 per cent against) and nationally (60).

The local turn-out represents only a third of all electors listed in the Shire of Toodyay.

This excludes postal and absentee votes, which usually accounts for up to 15 per cent.

Contractors blamed for late rates bills, no tip passes, wrong accounts

CONTRACTORS have been blamed for this year’s late shire rates notices, incorrect account numbers and lack of tip passes.

Toodyay Shire CEO Suzie Haslehurst said some other shires, including the Shire of Harvey, had undergone similar difficulties.

Ms Haslehurst said Toodyay rates notices were lodged with the contractor for an Australia Post mail out on September 20 but the contractor was eight days’ late.

This meant instalment dates for part payments had to be changed after the rates notices were sent out.

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Miner shatters Julimar residents’ dreams

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

DUST, noise and a massive open-cut mine planned next to their homes have dismayed a group of Julimar residents who say their bush lifestyle dreams have been destroyed.

The affected residents include artists and writers (pictured right) who say their properties have been ruined and lives permanently disrupted – with worse to come.

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Former WA Nationals Party leader backs Yes vote

Former State Opposition and ex-WA Nationals Leader Mia Davies joined about 100 supporters at a Toodyay ‘Yes’ vote rally for this month’s Voice Federal Referendum on Saturday October 14. “I see it as a positive for our nation, a moral obligation,” the Wheatbelt MP said. “It is about bringing people together, not creating division – it is a message of love.”

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