After the flood
A MOOD of renewal is brewing in Toodyay – you can almost smell it in the air.
It’s as if recent summer floods have breathed new life into the town.
The flood itself was a spectacle to behold. The mighty Avon River awoke unexpectedly from decades-long slumber
to amaze us with its stunning beauty and power.
The sight of millions of tonnes of water cascading through the valley held many in awe and drew hundreds of sightseers.
Other amazing things have also been happening in Toodyay.
In the space of a month, two local hotel owners have announced major upgrades, more tourists appear to be visiting town and local traders say business since Christmas is surprisingly better than expected.
Property prices have steadied, there are increasing signs of new building construction work and people generally
appear more optimistic about the future.
A revitalised Toodyay Chamber of Commerce and Industry is bursting with fresh ideas and – could it be true? – we might even get a new public swimming pool.
The key to progress is to create the right environment to attract new business investment, and better public facilities
to encourage more young families and entrepreneurs to settle locally.
It’s worked elsewhere in towns such as Bridgetown, Pemberton and Manjimup, and now surely it’s Toodyay’s turn.
Change is needed, and we have a chance to capture the moment before it slips away.
As Baby Boomer folk idol Bob Dylan sang more than 50 years ago – “Your old road is rapidly agein’ – please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand, for the times they are a-changin’.”
Conflicts of interest?
IT IS CLEARLY a matter of public concern when elected officials are allowed vote on issues that may affect their private interests.
When it is decisions on things such as rates and charges that affect a significant number of electors – no problem.
But when it is about whether heavyhaulage trucks are required to be driven past the front of their properties or be
re-routed to Stirling Terrace, you’d think such an interest might preclude them from voting – at least to meet public perceptions of impartiality.
A new approach may be needed to restore public confidence in a council that says it wants to connect better with the community it seeks to serve.