Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, has welcomed the appointment of Queensland’s new Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner.

Ms Palaszczuk welcomed the current Acting Chief Executive Officer and Chief Officer of Metropolitan Fire Brigade in Melbourne, Gregory Leach, to the role.

Mr Leach is an emergency services stalwart with 32 years’ experience, including 12 years as a senior executive with both country and metropolitan fire and ambulance services.

“Mr Leach has managed responses to some of our nation’s worst fire disasters,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Most recently, as Acting Chief Executive Officer, he led the emergency response to the Nunnett/Timbarra fire in East Gippsland in February.

“Given Queensland’s prolonged drought conditions and devastating bushfires in the South East last month, it is reassuring to have a former State Response Controller, with high-level strategic operational knowledge, take the lead of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

“I’m sure our Emergency Services look forward to working with a proven leader who has worked across various emergency management agencies.”

Mr Leach has worked as a senior executive across three Victorian agencies: Country Fire Authority, Ambulance Victoria, and the Metropolitan Fire & Emergency Services Board.

The Premier said Mr Leach has also led the implementation of significant reform to the fire services in Victoria.

“Mr Leach’s leadership will drive us forward as we continue to develop world-class and contemporary Fire and Emergency Service,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

Mr Leach replaces Katarina Carroll APM, who was appointed Commissioner of the Queensland Police Service in July 2019.

Fire and Emergency Services Minister, Craig Crawford, acknowledged the service of Acting Commissioner Mike Wassing.

“Mike has done an outstanding job over the past five months, particularly given the unprecedented early start to the bushfire season last month,” Minister Crawford said.

“Managing more than 1400 active fires is no walk in the park and Mike has done so with great compassion and dedication.

“He has led the team through some of Queensland’s darkest hours and I thank him for his continued service.”

Acting Commissioner Mike Wassing will remain in his role until Commissioner Leach takes up his appointment in the coming weeks.

Mike Wassing will remain as Deputy Commissioner.