Appointment of NSW SES Commissioner

Issued: 1 February 2017

Media Release - Minister for Emergency Services

Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant has today announced the appointment of Brigadier Mark Smethurst DSC, AM, as the next Commissioner of the NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES).

Brigadier Smethurst is a highly decorated officer who has served over 35 years in the Australian Defence Force. He has worked in a wide variety of appointments and has spent the majority of his career as a Special Forces Officer.

He has commanded at all levels, including Troop and Squadron Commander appointments with the Special Air Service Regiment. He has also commanded both the Special Forces Training Centre and the Australian Regular Commando Battalion, both based in NSW.

Minister Grant said Brigadier Smethurst is a dynamic and practical leader with extensive experience in leading large and diverse teams both in Australia and overseas.

"This appointment will ensure sound leadership of the NSW SES and the further development of the organisation to help meet the challenges faced in times of crisis, and to support the broader emergency management response and cooperation requirements in NSW," Mr Grant said.

Minister Grant thanked Deputy Commissioner Greg Newton who has been Acting Commissioner of the NSW SES for the past 12 months.

"Mr Newton brought great passion and dedication to the role, particularly during the East Coast Lows of June 2016, and flooding in Central Western NSW from August-December 2016.

"On behalf of the NSW Government, I congratulate Brigadier Smethurst and look forward to working with him to further strengthen the NSW SES.

"Under the leadership of Brigadier Smethurst, the NSW SES has a very bright future indeed."

Brigadier Smethurst is married to Monique and has two teenagers, Ella 15, and Tom 17. He will move to Wollongong from Canberra, and commence his new role on 27 February 2017.

"I look forward to working with the proud SES team of full-time staff and volunteers across the state and building strong working and cooperative relationships with the NSW community and broader emergency services team to enhance crisis planning and responses in times of need," Brigadier Smethurst said.