'He's done his time': Mayor on Baird's retirement
FRIDAY 10am: KYOGLE Mayor Danielle Mulholland has joined Northern Rivers' politicians in commenting on Mike Baird's retirement as NSW Premier.
"He's done his time and now he wants to focus on his family, I think we can respect that and the work that he's done," she said.
"I think that people who go into politics know nobody really does it for any other reason than to try to work hard for the community they represent."
UPDATE 5.30pm: AFTER what has been an emotional day, Mike Baird took to Facebook this afternoon for a final goodbye to the residents of his state.
"Thank you, NSW. It has been an honour," he posted.
Within minutes the post had more than 1500 likes and more than 100 comments.
UPDATE 4pm: LISMORE MP Thomas George hit back at commentary over out-going Premier Mike Baird's backflips, in particular on the greyhound racing ban.
The seasoned politician admired Mr Baird and the government for admitting the decision to ban the industry state-wide was a mistake.
"Let me tell you as a politician, it took more to say 'look I've got this wrong, my cabinet have got this wrong, we are reversing this decision'," Mr George said.
"I know the media and the community were critical of what they did but let me tell you that there wasn't a member of Parliament that didn't appreciate the listening of the Premier and the Deputy Premier and the cabinet to overturn that decision."
Mr George thanked the Premier for his work in the Lismore electorate over the years from the base hospital upgrade to CSG.
While Mr George knew a party re-shuffle was on the cards, he did not expect the leader of the party to step down.
UPDATE 12.45pm: MIKE Baird's resignation could put the cancellation of shark net trials back on the table, Australian Seabird Rescue manager, Kathrina Southwell, said.
She said his announcement today was "promising".
"We hope whoever takes his place will consider cancelling the trial due to the fact that so many wildlife have been affected," she said.
UPDATE 11am: MAYORS across the Northern Rivers have expressed their shock at the news of Premier Mike Baird's sudden retirement this morning.
Ballina Shire mayor David Wright was "disappointed" at the news and said he'll "miss the contact" he had with Mr Baird.
Cr Wright said he understands the pressure of public life can weigh heavily on politicians.
"The pressure on any premier, prime minister and politicians is fairly intense," Cr Wright said.
"I can understand why he wants to get out while he's still young. I wish him all the best.
"It's better to go out on your own terms than not."
Cr Wright said he maintained "good relations" with the Premier, particularly in the wake of shark attacks in the shire.
"He's rung me many times, particularly when we've had shark attacks," Cr Wright said.
Cr Wright said the Premier kept his word on many issues including research into shark activity as well as ocean surveillance.
Looking to the future, Cr Wright is confident works to improve the Ballina Shire will continue to be supported under a new Premier.
Richmond Valley mayor, Robert Mustow, said Mr Baird's shock exit "came out of left field" but expressed his well wishes for the out-going premier.
He reflected the greyhound ban controversy was a "testing time" between the council and the State Government, who later reversed the ban in what Cr Mustow described as "good for our community."
Lismore City mayor, Isaac Smith is camping with his family until January 24 and couldn't comment for the story.
THURSDAY 10am: CLARENCE MP Chris Gulaptis has commended out-going Premier Mike Baird as a "conviction politician" who was instrumental in making NSW the "premier state".
"He was in it to elevate NSW to be the premier state," Mr Gulaptis said.
Upgrades to the Lismore Base and Byron Central Hospitals were among the many big infrastructure projects Mr Gulaptis noted as some of Mr Baird's significant achievements as premier.
The shock retirement was "out of the blue" and "fair-dinkum" according to Mr Gulaptis, who had "no idea" about Mr Baird's plans to retire.
The question of who will step up to the top job following Mr Baird's exit is on everyone's lips.
Mr Gulaptis said state treasurer Gladys Berejiklian MP would be one of his top picks to replace Mr Baird as premier.
"She would do a top job if she got there," he said.
Other "terrific ministers" Mr Gulaptis said would be great predecessors to Mr Baird included Andrew Constance and Anthony Roberts.
Page MP Kevin Hogan said he was sorry to hear the Premier has resigned.
"I am really disappointed, I think the NSW government had a bit of a rough trot last year," he said.
"But I think the governments infrastructure roll out on the NSW North Coast has been good such as the Lismore hospital upgrade ... there's a lot happening up here from Federal and State governments, but I'm disappointed at the news."
Overall, Mr Hogan said he felt the premier has done a good job.
"He admits he made a couple of mistakes last year (but) I think generally they are good government," he said.
He declined to discuss whether the shark nets or greyhound racing ban had any impact on Mr Baird's decision.
"I really don't know Mr Baird all that well," he said.
Ballina MP Tamara Smith was unavailable to comment for personal reasons.
Lismore MP Thomas George was contacted by The Northern Star.