Commissioner and Department heads announced

New QFES Commissioner Stephen Smith. | Newsreel
New QFES Commissioner Stephen Smith. | Photo: Supplied by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Acting Commissioner Stephen Smith has been made permanent, after six months in the caretaker role.

Commissioner Smith has been acting since the resignation of former Commissioner Greg Leach in October last year.

According to his QFES bio, Commissioner Smith started his firefighting career in 1994 and has served in regional and state roles in a variety of specialist areas.

He has extensive knowledge, skills and experience in emergency and crisis management, both domestically and internationally, with a particular interest in leadership and capability development including organisational level change, leadership influence, and the human factors that influence organisational behaviour.

Commissioner Smith was appointed Assistant Commissioner in late 2015 and served as the Assistant Commissioner Southwestern Region for more than three years, before becoming the Assistant Commissioner QFES People in 2019.

In recent years, he has acted as QFES Deputy Commissioner at various times.

In 2021, Commissioner Smith was awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal for distinguished service and success in technical rescue with outstanding commitment and drive in improving the profile and capability of the Queensland Urban Search and Rescue Taskforce.

Commissioner Smith was one of four senior Queensland Government appointments announced today, alongside three new Directors-General.

Linda Dobe is the new Director-General for the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water (DRDMW), Peter McKay leads the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training (DESBT) and Graeme Bolton is now in charge of of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF).

Ms Dobe has more than 30 years of water, lands, mining and education experience across both public and private sectors and has been DRDMW’s Acting Director-General since March 2023.

Mr McKay brings more than 20 years’ senior executive experience across large Queensland Government departments in policy, corporate support, service delivery and regulation and most recently was the Deputy Director-General at the Office of Industrial Relations.

Mr Bolton is a senior executive and policy professional with more than three decades of leadership experience across local, state, and international governments. He was the former Deputy Director-General, Fisheries and Forestry for DAF from May 2019 to November 2023 and was most recently the Deputy Director-General of the Department of Youth Justice.