NSW SES Commissioner Mark Smethurst visits Gunnedah

On tour: NSW SES Commissioner, Brigadier Mark Smethurst, (left) inspecting NSW SES headquarters with parliamentary secretary for the Illawarra, Gareth Ward, last month.

On tour: NSW SES Commissioner, Brigadier Mark Smethurst, (left) inspecting NSW SES headquarters with parliamentary secretary for the Illawarra, Gareth Ward, last month.

Former special forces officer-turned NSW State Emergency Service (SES) Commissioner, Brigadier Mark Smethurst, was in Gunnedah on Tuesday for one of his first regional visits in the top job.

The highly decorated Australian Defence Force solider who served more than 35 years commanding various posts including at Special Forces Training Centre and Australian Regular Commando Battalion, changed gears for a look at the Namoi SES region headquarters and Gunnedah rescue base.

NSW SES region controller Andrew Galvin said the tour was primarily familiarisation focused but his maiden SES beyond city limits. 

“We were the first rural and regional area he had visited,” Mr Galvin said.

The new commissioner was particularly interested in Namoi region’s extensive coverage district which featured about a dozen rescue units from Liverpool Plains to Tingha.

Brigadier Smethurst will be based out of Canberra and is married with two teenage children, Ella 15, and Tom 17

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