Neville Wran watched as Albury grew

RELATED:Former NSW premier Neville Wran dead at age 87

NEVILLE Wran had a hand in several major Albury projects in his decade as NSW premier.

He ascended to the premiership in the 1976 “Wranslide”, when Albury was still a Liberal stronghold with Gordon Mackie as member

Within three months of winning power, Mr Wran was in Albury to open the city council’s new chambers in Kiewa Street for mayor Cleaver Bunton.

In May 1978 he inaugurated a modern new press for The Border Mail and also promised an “internal by-pass go-ahead” — that proved 25 years premature.

Later in 1978, Harold Mair won the Albury seat for Labor and its marginal status allowed him to lobby Mr Wran hard in the city’s interests at a time when it was part of the growth centre project.

In 1979, Mr Wran accompanied mayor John Roach to open Border Shoppingtown, now Lavington Square.

As premier, Mr Wran also held the arts portfolio and encouraged four significant local projects — the conversion of the old town hall to a regional art gallery, the creation of a city museum at the Turks Head, the Murray River Performing Group and the Flying Fruit Fly Circus.

In the 1980s, Mr Mair was able to convince the Wran government to fund or facilitate several projects, notably the establishment of a newsprint mill at Ettamogah.

In 1986 — the year he resigned as premier — he returned to Albury to launch the paddlesteamer Cumberoona.

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