SHORTER TERM POSSIBLE: LUCY
By ED SOUTHORN
TWEED Shire Council co-administrator Lucy Turnbull expects to hand over to a newly-elected council before the current September 2008 deadline, if the NSW Coalition is elected in the state poll next year.
Mrs Turnbull yesterday confirmed that Opposition Leader Peter Debnam had indicated he would end Tweed Shire's term of admini-stration "some time sooner" than the 2008 deadline set by former Local Government Minister Tony Kelly.
Mrs Turnbull ? in Murwillumbah with husband Malcolm Turnbull, the Liberal MHR for Wentworth ? praised the local turnout for yesterday's Tweed Shire 100th anniversary celebrations.
"It's terrific to see so many people on this great day," she said.
Mrs Turnbull said that no matter how long her term of administration, she and fellow administrators Garry Payne and Max Boyd would keep on "just working our hardest to make sure we meet the challenges facing the Tweed".
She said the sacked Tweed council was "not unique" in local government ? she had been Sydney Mayor before the Sydney City council was dismissed in 2003, part of local government amalgamation.
Mr Boyd, launching a local history book, said none of the administrators had realised "how big" their task was, but he was grateful for the ongoing chance to help provide for the Tweed community.
Mrs Turnbull stressed the administrators would continue to work closely with shire staff and to always consult with the community.
"We're doing the best job we possibly can," she said.
Despite not having an elected council, the Tweed Shire centenary was warmly celebrated yesterday.
Crowds lined Main Street as an official party, including Mrs Turnbull, Mr Boyd and acting general manager Mike Rayner, drove in vintage cars, with bands, a town crier and school children walking, on an historical tour of the town centre.
Mrs Turnbull planted a commemorative Coolamon tree near the RSL memorial outside the civic centre, before festivities continued at the riverbank park outside the old art gallery.
Some among the crowd when asked by the Daily News said the former council had to go because it refused to respect public opinion; others said the sacking had been a drastic step.