The Queensland government has moved to lock down the services of the state’s incumbent top cop, announcing that Police Service Commissioner Ian Stewart APM has been appointed for a new term ahead of the looming 2018 Commonwealth Games to be held on the Gold Coast.
According to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Stewart’s reappointment was made using a “closed merit process” because of the urgent need to maintain continuity of leadership ahead of the major sports event that will effectively turn Gold Coast into a massive special security zone, with special new police powers already passed.
“The Government was determined to ensure the QPS leadership was not subject to what is always a significant transition in the lead up to GC2018,” Queensland Police Minister Police Mark Ryan said.
“There will be 3500 QPS officers, together with 4200 contract security personnel, over 2000 Australian Defence Force members and 100 officers from the Australian Federal Police to make up a security force of over 10,000 that will work together to ensure the safe celebration of the Games for athletes, officials and spectators.”
However the Premier and Police Minister stressed that future appointments to the role of Queensland Police Commissioner will be conducted through an open-merit process.
Stewart, a 40 year policing veteran, was appointed to the role of Commissioner in November 2012.
“As Premier, I have worked closely with Commissioner Stewart in the preparation, response and recovery from Tropical Cyclones Debbie and Marcia, the strengthening of police powers and resources particularly in areas of tackling all forms of serious organised crime and counter-terrorism, and the preparations for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games,” the Premier said.
According to a statement issued on the reappointment appointment, Commissioner Stewart holds a Master of Public Policy and Administration and a Bachelor of Business qualifications and is a Fellow of both the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) and Australian Institute of Management. He is also a graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.