Decorated former commando resigns as NSW SES commissioner amid misconduct allegations

By The Mandarin

Friday March 8, 2019

Mark Smethurst, the NSW State Emergency Services (SES) Commissioner and former Australian Army commando that reached the rank of Brigadier, has offered his resignation following allegations of misconduct.

NSW SES Commissioner Brigadier Mark Smethurst (front).

NSW Police Minister Troy Grant today said he accepted Smethurst’s resignation.

“The resignation follows allegations of misconduct,” Grant said in a statement. “I have no tolerance for misconduct and allegations will always be taken seriously no matter who they relate to.

“Appropriate measures have been put in place to support those affected by this matter.”

Smethurst was appointed as the NSW SES commissioner in 2017 by Grant, who described the former commando as a “dynamic and practical leader,” with more than 35 years of experience in the Australian Defence Force, working in a variety of appointments and spent the majority of his career as a Special Forces Officer.

Kyle Stewart takes over as acting commissioner

NSW Police Force Assistant Commissioner Kyle Stewart has been appointed as interim SES Commissioner until the position can be formally advertised, and a new permanent appointment can be made. As caretaker period has already begun the appointment will be made by a minister of the government following the state election. Grant is retiring at the election, so the appointment will be made by a new minister regardless of the outcome.

Grant said Stewart has had a long and distinguished career with the NSW Police Force, and is currently the Commander of the Communications and Security Command. He joined the Force in 1985 and has extensive experience in emergency management including acting as the police representative on the State Emergency Management Committee and the State Rescue Board.

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