Qld fire chief resigns to return to Victoria

Queensland’s fire chief has quit to take on new opportunities in Victoria.

Greg Leach

Commissioner Greg Leach will leave his post at Queensland Fire and Emergency Services at the end of October to take on a new interstate opportunity after four years with the organisation.

In a statement announcing his resignation, Mr Leach said he was proud of his achievements with QFES, including work to incorporate First Nations knowledge into bushfire management, the development of a mental health strategy for fire fighters and supporting Queenslanders during the pandemic.

“Many of you would have heard me talk about Queensland being the most disaster-prone state in Australia,” he said in a statement.

“Through a global pandemic, catastrophic fires, floods and storms, through disasters both natural and human-created, together we have endured the toughest of times.”

Commissioner Leach said it had been an honour to serve as QFES Commissioner and he was looking forward to seeing the implementation of the new Queensland Fire Department.

Fire and emergency service minister Mark Ryan said Commissioner Leach had overseen the emergency services response to many significant events in the state, including fires and floods, as well as structural reforms to FFES.

“I offer my sincere thanks to Greg for his efforts as Commissioner and offer him my very best wishes for his future endeavours as he moves back to Victoria to take up a new position and spend more time with his family,” the minister said.

Mr Ryan told reporters Commissioner Leach’s departure wasn’t connected to bungled  fire mitigation figures he provided last month.

Before being appointed QFES Chief in 2019, Commissioner Leach spent eight years with Rural Ambulance Victoria and then Ambulance Victoria, following the merger of the state’s three ambulance services into a single service in 2008.

He joined the Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board as a Deputy Chief Officer and Executive Director, Organisational Learning & Development in 2014 and led a program of major reform to Victorian fire services.

A process to select a new Commissioner will begin soon.

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