FORMER Wagga City Council general manager Lyn Russell has been removed from the post she left the Riverina to take.
Ms Russell made a shock departure from Wagga in 2009 after just 18 months at council to return to Queensland as CEO of Cairns Regional Council.
The Cairns councillors this week voted to terminate Ms Russell’s contract and is keeping the reasons under wraps.
Cairns media reported she could receive a severance payment of as much as $500,000.
“I am proud of our staff, who continually meet the significant challenges we face every day in local government,” Ms Russell said in a written statement.
“I congratulate all staff for their teamwork and professionalism.”
It is understood there is no-one in line to immediately replace her.
In her brief time in Wagga, Ms Russell was the driving force behind the expansive Riverside masterplan, which became a point of conflict between her and some councillors.
“What I’ve always said is that we have a different river to what Lyn Russell was working with in Townsville,” mayor Kerry Pascoe said yesterday.
Despite significant investment in planning, Cr Pascoe said recent flooding had meant the Riverside plan had fallen off the radar.
“It’s not completely killed off but it’s extremely difficult considering the 2010 and 2012 floods.”
Ms Russell has a long history in local government and had been named Local Government Manager of the Year in NSW and Queensland.