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    Alternative suggestion to save more trees from chainsaw

    Article by SASTR, Toodyay Herald, May 2024
    Like everyone else in the community we want road improvements and believe these are possible with less clearing of vegetation than is proposed by Main Roads WA. We proposed alternative designs at varying points along Toodyay Road including at the junction of Sandplain and Salt Valley Roads, at the crossover of Jimperding Brook and at the Fernie Road junction. 

    Lies, damned lies and road statistics

    Article by SASTR, Toodyay Herald, April 2024
    TOODYAY Road has often been cited as one of WA’s most dangerous roads due to its allegedly unacceptable safety record. Is Toodyay Road’s safety record as bad as is made out by Main Roads Western Australia (MRWA)? Equally important, does it warrant turning this beautiful albeit imperfect country road into the soulless highway envisaged by Main Roads?

    Do safer roads encourage risky driving behaviour?

    Article by SASTR, Toodyay Herald, March 2024
    ROAD safety has been in the news lately. This is because the latest accident figures show the road toll is not declining despite considerable expenditure on making roads safer. Like many areas of public policy, the case for road improvements to improve road safety is not cut and dried. For example, there is evidence to show that if drivers perceive a road to be dangerous they will drive more carefully and it might be argued that the case of Toodyay Road supports this view. The wheat

    Government endorses watering down of environmental regulations

    Article by SASTR, Toodyay Herald, Feb 2024

    Late last year the State Government released the findings of a review it commissioned of WA’s environmental approvals system and the WA Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).

    The review containing 39 recommendations was not independent, did not include any community consultation and basically reduced the EPA and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation to a rubber stamp

    Ravensthorpe wildflower show adv- no wildflowers

    No wildflowers to grow on this Wheatbelt shire roadside – the sign indicates these are on show in Ravensthorpe only. Photo by Greg Warburton.

    Bigger, better roads may not always be safer

    Article by SASTR, Toodyay Herald, December 2023
    A RECENT report by the State Auditor General has highlighted the fact that despite spending more than $1 billion over 10 years on road improvements, WA traffic deaths and injuries remain virtually unchanged and unacceptably high. The report to the WA Government details shortcomings of the Road Trauma Trust Account (RTTA), funded by speed and red-light camera revenue which totalled $127 million last year and is expected to keep increasing.

    Past protections fall by the wayside

    Article by SASTR, Toodyay Herald, November 2023
    THE RECENT revelation former WA Premier Mark McGowan interfered in the affairs of the State Environmental Protection Agency undoubtedly shocked many. But political interference in environmental affairs should come as no surprise in a state where mining is so prominent that environmental protection will always come second to the mining-based mantra of ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’.

    Coorinja roadworks demonstrate bad engineering

    Article by SASTR, Toodyay Herald, October 2023
    THE NEWLY completed section of upgraded Toodyay Road, close to the Coorinja winery, has recently become a spectacle of the good and the bad features of road engineering by Main Roads Western Australia (MRWA). The upgraded section has been engineered to what MRWA calls the Regional Standard with a wider carriageway and sealed edges with rumble strips.

    Sham offsets disguise a clear environmental loss

    Article by SASTR, Toodyay Herald, September 2023

    MAIN Roads WA has always been keen in interactions with our group to emphasise its claimed environmental credentials by pointing to environmental offsets to counteract its clearing of native vegetation for road building. The theory, as generally proclaimed by supporters of environmental offsetting, goes somewhat like this: If you knock something down – say a critically endangered woodland – you make up for that loss by permanently protecting the same type and category of critically endangered woodland elsewhere, saving it from future development that might otherwise have resulted in it also being bulldozed.

    A revegetation offset site which was previously used for pasture on the corner of Racecourse<br />
Road and Toodyay Road.

    A revegetation offset site which was previously used for pasture on the corner of Racecourse Road and Toodyay Road. A lack of sufficient weed control prior to seed sowing and planting renders weed control difficult. Weeds dominate slower growing native species, causing the site to be overtaken by excessive weeds, eucalypts and acacias, thus greatly compromising the area’s natural biodiversity.

    Main Roads in damage control as costs mount

    Article by SASTR, Toodyay Herald, August 2023
    THE SIGHT of workers sealing broken edges of Toodyay Road has aroused a sense of disbelief in community members including those of us at SASTR. This is what we have been calling for since we started campaigning two years ago and it is what a Wheatbelt Safety Review recommended back in 2015. In rejecting such low-cost but effective solutions, Main Roads WA cited the unsuitability of the terrain and a community call for passing lanes.

    Main Roads ignores its own low-cost option

    Article by SASTR, Toodyay Herald, July 2023
    As we reported in the June Herald, work is about to start on the major realignment of Toodyay Road in the vicinity of the intersections with Salt Valley Road and Sandplain Road. This will be the largest reconstruction project in the 27km Wheatbelt segment of Toodyay Road.

    New road rides roughshod over biodiverse species

    Article by SASTR, Toodyay Herald, June 2023
    A section of Toodyay Road that adjoins the Salt Valley Road and Sandplain Road intersections is likely to be the next local area to be upgraded by Main Roads, probably at end of year. This section was last on their list, but we suspect budgetary constraints may mean Main Roads need to complete this section as they may not have funds to complete all works as originally planned.

    Ancient trees safe but mature vegetation axed

    Article by SASTR, Toodyay Herald, May 2023

    MAIN Road WA (MRWA) representatives travelled to Toodyay last month to meet our members for a walk-through of major roadworks planned at the junction of Sandplain Road and Salt Valley Road. We estimate close to $50 million will be spent when works begin in 6-12 months.

    Parliamentary petition rejected but we fight on

    Article by SASTR, Toodyay Herald, April 2023
    A petition signed by more than 5000 people to review planned alterations to Toodyay Road has been rejected by a WA State Parliamentary Committee. Safe and Scenic Toodyay Roads (SASTR) and local community members campaigned for two years for a sustainable and environmentally responsible road design that would incorporate improved safety measures. The petition spoke to concerns about the potential loss of wandoo trees up to 400 years old.

    Road widening not the only way to save lives

    Article by SASTR, Toodyay Herald, March 2023
    Recent editions of The Toodyay Herald have been full of news about serious road accidents in our community which have included loss of life. These have impacted many people in our community as well as our economy. In an ideal world of limitless resources, we would spend as much as it takes to prevent such accidents.

    State softens hard line on Toodyay roadworks

    Article by SASTR, Toodyay Herald, February 2023
    We welcome MRWA’s full-page advertisement in the December Herald about the resumption of road safety improvements along Toodyay Road. We may dispute some of what they said but communicating in this way is a big improvement on what happened just prior to the Jingaling Brook roadworks when nothing
    was done to prepare the community for the massive clearing that occurred.

    Roadworks ‘offsets’ no substitute
    for destruction of biodiversity

    Article by SASTR, Toodyay Herald, December 2022

    Recent data shows Main Roads Western Australia (MRWA) and local shires are the
    largest land clearers in the Wheatbelt. Around half the approved land clearing in
    the past three years was for road developments and upgrades in an area that already has scant remaining native vegetation. MRWA is one of many organisations who claim “offsets” as equal compensation when applying for native vegetation clearance permits.

    Show display sparks outrage over
    planned roadworks destruction

    Article by SASTR, Toodyay Herald, November 2022
    A major complaint of the Safe and Scenic Toodyay Roads campaign has been the lack of detail and clarity provided by Main Roads WA about the impact of the planned improvements on the vegetation along the road and the resulting scenery.

    Trees not valued in road costings

    Article by SASTR, Toodyay Herald, October 2022
    Planned changes to Toodyay Road have been in the pipeline for more than 20 years. In the view of a resident who lives close to the road, the current changes represent the third major planning exercise. A thick file of correspondence with
    politicians, advisers and engineers shows what a costly and time-consuming exercise this has all been.

    Main Roads slams door on further bid to save scenic route

    Article by SASTR, Toodyay Herald, September 2022
    Main Roads WA has rejected our request for major changes to save scenic parts of Toodyay Road and says there will be no further public consultation via its Community Reference Group (CRG).

    Large-scale road clearing helps worsen fires, floods

    Article by SASTR, Toodyay Herald, August 2022

    Australia has lost more mammal species than any other continent on the planet, and our country’s rate of species decline is among the highest in the developed world. The State of The Environment report says this is mainly due to the introduction of new non-native species, large-scale land clearing and the ongoing destruction of natural habitat.

    Roadside devastation sparks petition to Parliament; Long list of gripes mars Toodyay road upgrade; Letters.

    Article & Letters, Toodyay Herald, February 2022

    There’s a lot to read in the February 2021 edition of the Toodyay Herald. We even made page 1!

    Jingaling Brook roadworks
    Andrew St John with 420 year old powderbark wandoo

    Main Roads says ‘exploring options’ to save two 400-year-old trees from axe

    Article by Toodyay Herald, November 2021

    TWO 400-year-old Toodyay trees listed for destruction on a flora-designated road have become the latest battleground for local environmentalists seeking to limit damage to native vegetation in ongoing upgrades to Toodyay Road.

    The two large Powderbark Wandoos stand near the intersection of Toodyay Road and Salt Valley Road, about eight kilometres south of the Toodyay townsite…

    Showgoers sign up to preserve nature & Safe & scenic roads

    Article by SASTR, Toodyay Herald, November 2021

    The Toodyay Agricultural show provided the opportunity for Safe and Scenic Toodyay Roads (SASTR) members to tell many people about the detrimental impact of the planned improvements to Toodyay Roads…

    Low-cost option saves money lives & native flora

    Article by SASTR, Toodyay Herald, October 2021

    We have all heard about how Toodyay Road is supposedly one of the most dangersous roads in the Wheatbelt and the high Killed and Seriously Injured index (KSI) justifies the current road improvement program…

    Backward Step

    Letter from SASTR, Toodyay Herald, October 2021

    We write to echo and amplify Helen Shanks’ letter in the August Herald. It is indeed a retrograde step for the broader Avon community including Toodyay to be redistributed into the electorate of Durack…

    Avon Region must go it alone to conserve nature

    Article by SASTR, Toodyay Herald, September 2021

    In recent weeks we have been hearing more about the proposed diversion of Great Eastern Highway from the Clackline area heading north-west to cross and rejoin  Toodyay Road afte.r Gidgegannup …

    Clearing repudiates wildflower award

    Article by SASTR, Toodyay Herald, August 2021

    Unfortunately, it’s not just Main Roads WA (MRWA) we need to worry about. Last month, along Sandplain Road (pictured in the page banner above) a large amount of roadside vegetation was removed.

    Clearing along Sandplain road
    Wandoo Lament. Image of the 420 year old Wandoo Paperbark.

    Wandoo Lament

    Advertisement, Toodyay Herald, July 2021

    A powerful poem about the beauty and significance of the mighty Powderbark Wandoo, by Greg Warburton.

    Sentinel, guardian, Lord of the Trees,
    You are four hundred years of history,
    Centuries of drought, fire and storm,
    No white man here when you were born,
    Roots way down in the ancient laterite,
    Immense your girth, lofty your height,
    Your branches a refuge for zoology,
    Under your bark an entire ecology,
    Oxygen pumping from your crown,
    Keeping the salt below the ground …

    Less clearing can still fix road

    Article by SASTR, Toodyay Herald, July 2021

    Many community members are showing their support for alternative plans which will reduce Main Road WA’s extensive clearing footprint for their planned upgrade.

    Radio Interview

    ABC Radio, Midwest and Wheatbelt Breakfast, May 2021

    Interview with Bethan Lloyd, SASTR Committee Member.

    Toodyay Road Improvements - But at What Cost?

    Article by SASTR, Toodyay Herald, June 2021

    The announcement that the planned upgrades to Toodyay Road have been funded by the Federal Government will be seen as good news by some in the community. Details of the funding are accompanied by all the usual claims of safer and improved public transport, reducing travel times etc.  What’s not good about that one might ask?

    MAIN ROADS SAYS CLEARING APPROVED

    Article by Main Roads WA, Toodyay Herald, May 2021

    The upgrade of Toodyay Road needs to cater for locals, commuter, tourist and heavy vehicle traffic. The key driver for this to work is to ensure that the staged development and construction continuously improves the safety performance for the growing traffic …

    Hidden truck agenda

    Letter by Bethan Lloyd, Toodyay Herald, May 2021

    IF MAIN Roads WA recognised the environmental importance of Toodyay Road, why would it choose to put a 90m-wide, 11m-deep cut for several kilometres through beautiful Wandoo and Powderbark woodland around the Sandplain and Salt Valley Road intersections for an overtaking lane that could go elsewhere? …

    Science ignored in alarming developments

    Article by Doug Banford, Toodyay Herald, May 2021

    There is an alarming trend developing in the Toodyay Shire regarding the level of technical expertise and lack of fundamental scientific data being put forward in support of applications for development projects …

    memorial Hall display reveals road clearing havoc

    Article by SASTR, Toodyay Herald, May 2021

    To find out more about the Toodyay Road roadworks, visit the display in the Memorial Hall. The campaign for Safe & Scenic Toodyay Roads (SASTR) has made available higher-scale plans of the upgrades which have been provided by Main Roads WA …

    More major roadworks delay Toodyay traffic

    The Toodyay Herald

    CONSTRUCTION has begun on a major re-alignment of Toodyay Road between Lovers Lane and Jingaling Brook Road.

    MainRoads WA has built a sealed temporary 60km/h bypass around the construction area, which includes …

    Corridor carnage

    Letter by Greg Warburton, Toodyay Herald

    It is curious that a public outcry and protest prevented the removal of two non-native trees on Anzac Avenue to allow for badly needed safety improvements but the annihilation of 100s of mature Wandoo, Jarrah and Marri trees at Jingaling Brook has caused hardly a murmur of objection…

    Too much bush cleared

    Article by SASTR, Toodyay Herald, March 2021

    One of the pleasures of living in Toodyay is its proximity to Perth and that the relatively short journey to the city is through a beautiful combination of bush and farming country… There are few more beautiful spectacles than driving up from town at any time of year …

    Main Roads Defends Large-Scale Tree-Clearing.

    Article by Main Roads WA, Toodyay Herald

    Main Roads WA response to SASTR article.

    Excessive Clearing May Not Reduce Crashes

    Article by SASTR, The Toodyay Herald

    SASTR Article in Toodyay Herald

    … 

    Your voice is important

    Sign the petition, or send a postcard or email to our Minister for the Environment.
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    Bright blue Leschenaultia flowers found along Salt Valley Road
    Two Rufous treecreepers in a Wandoo paperbark hollow
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