RETIRED Major-General Stuart Smith has been appointed State Recovery Coordinator to help lead Queensland’s bushfire recovery operation.
A proven leader with more than 36 years in the military, Major-General Smith will help the State Government identify what support is needed for fire-ravaged towns in Central Queensland to fully recover.
The retired Major-General led the Australian Defence Force’s response to Cyclone Yasi in Far North Queensland 2011, and helped manage Australia’s disaster relief to the earthquake and tsunami in Banda Aceh in 2004.
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Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the former Major-General’s knowledge and experience would be “invaluable” to the recovery operation.
“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,” the Premier said.
“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.”
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,” she said.
“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 recovery.”