Richmond Valley council veteran steps down after 40 years
IF A day is a long time in politics, 40 years must be an eternity.
That is how long Colin 'Col' Sullivan OAM has been serving the Casino and Richmond Valley communities in local government.
It is, however, time to hang up the council hat and retire from public life, he said.
"I won't be standing at the next election.
"I'd like to travel and spend more time with the grandkids."
It has been a long and fulfilling career for the retired builder and also somewhat of a family tradition.
- 1957 - Casino Show Society, life member and president nine years
- 1974-1976 - Tomki Shire Council
- 1993 - Australia Day Citizen of the Year
- 2000-2002, 2008-2012 - Richmond Valley Mayor
- 2004 - OAM for community service
- 2005 -07 - President NSW Shire's Association
"I knew about my father (Percy Sullivan) being mayor, but I didn't know my grandfather (William Sullivan) and great grandfather (John Sullivan) had also been mayors," Col said.
"It was a very special day when I was elected Richmond River Shire mayor."
Highlights for Col during his public life have included being elected president of the NSW Shire's Association and being able to represent NSW in China in 2007 for local government.
"One of the hardest things I've had to deal with is getting people to think past their four-year terms," he said.
"I want people to think 15-20 years ahead, not about whether they will get elected or not."
The recent coal seam gas debate was another hard issue he had to deal with, not just publicly but also privately.
"I have never publicly said I am for or against CSG, but I worked tirelessly behind the scenes to get government to put in regulations to control the industry," he said.
Col's dedication to his local government work is evident - he has only missed one council meeting in the whole of his time as a councillor.