COMMUNITY-MINDED: Cr Col Sullivan OAM celebrates 40 years in public service with a long list of accolades.
COMMUNITY-MINDED: Cr Col Sullivan OAM celebrates 40 years in public service with a long list of accolades. Samantha Elley

Col serves for 40 years

THEY say a day in politics is a long time, then 40 years must be a record.

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 grand kids."

It has been a long and fulfilling career for the retired builder and also somewhat of a family tradition.

"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.

"I got plenty of threats from people telling me they knew where my grand kids went to school."

Col's dedication to his work is evident - he has only missed one council meeting in the whole of his time as a councillor.

Career highlights

  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 - 2007 President NSW Shire's Association



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