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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Third Toodyay food outlet shuts

TOODYAY’S Spice and Grill Indian restaurant is the third food outlet in the town’s busy tourist precinct to close in recent weeks.

The former pizza restaurant shut last month, joining Wendouree Tearooms which closed in June and the Freemasons Hotel which shut the same month for renovations after sale talks collapsed.

Both Wendouree Tearooms and the Cola Café are also for sale.

It follows last month’s public auction (pictured above) of remaining stock, tools and equipment at Toodyay Autos, which closed in June after owner Brenton Chrimes was unable to sell the business.

The heritage-fronted building and land is for sale, along with the adjoining garden centre land and business lease, which has been on the market for at least two years.





New laws cause mass confusion

Some of the more than 300 angry farmers at last month’s Northam Town Hall meeting.

State refuses to delay start of stronger measures to protect Aboriginal cultural heritage

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

AN ANGRY meeting of more than 300 farmers in Northam last month failed to delay the July 1 start of controversial new laws to protect Aboriginal cultural heritage.

Speakers who objected to the new laws were loudly clapped and cheered in the packed Northam Town Hall by growers from as far away as Esperance and Pingelly.

The changes appear to have been rushed through without adequate public education or any clear indication of how they will affect hundreds of Wheatbelt landholders.

Local Aboriginal representatives say they should have been delayed.

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