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‘Hoo Roo’ Pat

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Cr Pat Toohey was passionate about Moorabool's waterways. Photo - Helen Tatchell

By Meg Kennedy

Pat Toohey will be remembered for his community-driven attitude, advocacy, and significant contribution to Moorabool.

Long-term Moorabool Shire Councillor and former mayor, Cr Pat Toohey from Springbank, passed away on the morning of Wednesday, 18 September after a long battle with illness.

He served as Councillor for the Woodlands Ward of Moorabool Shire for 15-years and as Mayor on two occasions, between 2009-2010 and 2012-2013.

In a statement, Moorabool Shire Council said Cr Toohey was a “strong advocate for the Moorabool community and worked tirelessly for the benefit of our people.”

During his first term as Mayor, Cr Toohey hosted a visit from then-Governor of Victoria Professor David de Krester, touring local businesses and schools.

He oversaw upgrades to many community facilities and launched ‘Growing Moorabool’ to attract new investment and business to Moorabool.

In his second term, he received an award for the Local Government sector at the Resilient Australia Awards 2013 for conducting the Blackwood Evacuation Exercise.

Cr Toohey also oversaw the start of construction of the Blackwood Fire Refuge and the opening of some major projects in the community.

He served on many other committees, including the Municipal Association of Victoria’s Windfarm Working Group, the Western Highway Action Committee, the Section 86 Rural Growth Committee and the Rural Advisory Committee.

Mayor Paul Tatchell, who had known Cr Toohey since secondary school, described his fellow councillor as “a powerful force within Council”, and “quintessentially local,” with a passion for water and agricultural areas.

“Whenever you lose that type of experience on Council, its [not only] experience, but it’s also someone who knows the region, and had lived in the region all their life,” he said.

Councillor Tom Sullivan said Cr Toohey was “very much a strongly community-minded person; a man of great integrity, great honesty and great strength, and somebody who, what you saw was what you got”.

“He didn’t pull any punches; he was always advocating for his community…he never had any agendas, and every time he was promoting something it was for the betterment of the community and Moorabool Shire as a whole,” he said.

“He was the same to everybody; whether it was someone who was down on their luck, or the Prime Minister, he always treated people the same.”

Cr Sullivan said Cr Toohey had a “very measured approach…to ensure that everyone’s interests were protected, but fundamentally, to get the best outcome for the majority of people in the community.”

“He was the same to everybody; whether it was someone who was down on their luck, or the Prime Minister, he always treated people the same.”

A condolence book has been set up for Cr Toohey’s family at the Moorabool Shire Council Offices in Ballan.

When it came to say goodbye on the telephone or a face to face conversation, Pat always said, “Hoo roo”.

The funeral for Cr Toohey will be held on Wednesday 25 September, 1.30pm at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Ballarat.