GARRY Payne .... resigned as chief administrator of Tweed Shire Council.
GARRY Payne .... resigned as chief administrator of Tweed Shire Council.

PAYNE QUITS

By PETER CATON

TWEED Shire Council's chief administrator Garry Payne has stepped down.

His decision takes effect immediately with a replacement due to be announced before next Tuesday's scheduled council meeting. The replacement is expected to attend the meeting.

Mr Payne said he simply didn't have time for the job as well as his role as head of the NSW Department of Local Government.

Genevieve Slattery, the recently appointed executive assistant to the administrators said the Minister for Local Government, Kerry Hickey, was likely to announce a replacement, probably from Sydney, within days.

"I would expect we would have the new administrator announced and will be up here next week," Ms Slattery said yesterday, before adding "It's not me".

Ms Slattery was previously a senior poli-tical adviser in Sydney to the minister.

Mr Payne refused to be drawn on his possible replacement.

Sacked Tweed mayor Warren Polglase, whose council the administrators replaced 14 months ago, predicted "a Labor Party crony" would get the job.

Mr Payne said he had asked Mr Hickey to replace him, as he had served 12 months in the role. The minister agreed only on condition Mr Payne was "comfortable that most of the major issues in the shire had been addressed or were under way, and that Council had made a successful transition to administration", he said.

Mr Payne said he would "miss the area" but added: "I won't miss the travel."

"The time I have available to devote to Tweed has been becoming less as my commitments as Director General of the Department of Local Government become more demanding," he added.

"With the state election in March that generates a fair bit of work."

Mr Payne said co-administrators Lucy Turnbull and Max Boyd would be staying on "so there is continuity".

"All the hype over the removal of the council has gone and it's just business as usual," he said.

Mr Polglase said rather than replace Mr Payne the government would be politically wise to call a council election "sooner rather than later".

"All the hype over the removal of the council has gone and it's just business as usual," he said.

Mr Polglase said rather than replace Mr Payne the government would be politically wise to call a council election "sooner rather than later".



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