Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced Queensland’s bushfire recovery efforts will be coordinated by Major-General (retired) Stuart Smith.
The Premier said Major General Smith will support Central Queensland communities impacted by the recent bushfires in his role as State Recovery Coordinator.
“Major-General Smith is a proven leader with more than 36 years in the Australian military,” the Premier said.
“He has extensive experience responding to natural disasters including leading the Australian Defence Force response to Cyclone Yasi in North Queensland in 2011 and playing a lead role in managing Australia’s disaster relief to the earthquake and tsunami in Banda Aceh in 2004.
“This knowledge and experience will be invaluable in this role as State Recovery Coordinator where he will focus on ensuring there is a coordinated approach, so communities can get back on their feet as quickly as possible.
“Queensland has not experienced a bushfire disaster of this size and scale before, but those impacted can be assured the Queensland Government will continue to work closely with you as we bounce back from this,” she said.
The Premier said as State Recovery Coordinator Major-General Smith would be supported by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority and other state agencies.
“The Major-General will work with Local Disaster Management Groups, state agencies and non-profit organisations to identify what support is required for a complete recovery.
“Recovery from these bushfires will include rebuilding infrastructure, local economies and the environment and will focus on the health of emotional wellbeing of those impacted.
“The State Recovery Coordinator has a wide range of experience and will play a vital role in ensuring the Queensland Government has eyes and ears on the ground to support this road to recover,” she said.
Major General Smith’s military experience included operational command of an infantry battalion of 800 personnel on Peacekeeping operations in East Timor in 2003, and 3000 Australian Defence personnel in the Middle East and Afghanistan in 2012.
He was also Chief of Army Liaison Officer to the Senate Committee for Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (2002) and led the Australian Defence Force security support to G20 in Brisbane (2014).