Police Commissioner announces retirement: Who's next?
QUEENSLAND'S top cop Commissioner Ian Stewart has announced his retirement.
Mr Stewart today announced he would step down on July 7 after first being appointed to Commissioner in 2012.
The Newman Government appointee began his policing career in the Brisbane metropolitan area in 1973 before stints at Townsville, Redcliffe, Gold Coast and the north coast.
The Toowoomba-born Mr Stewart has three adult children with wife Carol.
Mr Stewart was the inaugural chair of the Investigation Support Capability Co-ordination Sub-Committee for the National Counter Terrorism Committee.
He holds a Master of Public Policy and Administration and Bachelor of Business qualifications and is a Fellow of the Institute of Police Administration Australia.
He also is the recipient of the Australian Fulbright Professional Scholarship and the Australian Police Medal.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Government would be conducting an "international" recruitment process to find Mr Stewart's replacement.
She said the panel would be led by the acting director-general of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Rachel Hunter, and would include the Crime and Corruption Commission.
Likely contenders for the top job include current Deputy Commissioners Bob Gee, Tracy Linford and Steve Gollschewski.
Racing Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett and Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Martin, both former QPS Deputy Commissioners, can be expected to be in the running.
As is Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Katarina Carroll, who was previously an Assistant Commissioner with QPS.
Recently retired Deputy Commissioner Brett Pointing may also be looking to make a return.
Although his contract expired next year Mr Stewart said it was proper to retire now given the coming election.
"This is just the right time for me, my family and I hope the community," he said.
"I think morale (in QPS) is pretty good.
"I just want to see the best person take over."
Asked what the highlight of his term he said:
"I think it's preparing the organisation for what's to come."
He said the decision to retire was made "by agreement" with the State Government.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said he had been there for Queenslanders "time after time".
"Because of you and police like you our children are safer," she said.
"Queensland is a better place because of you."
Police Minister Mark Ryan said Mr Stewart has overseen the force's "transformation into a truly first class" service.
"This is a sad day for Queensland knowing such an outstanding Commissioner will be leaving," he said.
"You have well and truly served the people."
The Queensland Police Union has welcomed the Government's decision to select the next top cop based on merit.
"I acknowledge Ian Stewart and his long policing career of over 45 years," union president Ian Leavers said today.
"As has been well documented, the Police Commissioner and I have not always agreed on issues however I wish Ian Stewart, his wife Carol and their family all the best in his retirement."
Mr Leavers called for a merit based selection process in July 2017 when Mr Stewart's contract was extended for three years so he could oversee last year's Commonwealth Games.
"I am pleased the Government has announced a fully transparent, accountable and merit based process being undertaken to select the next Commissioner of Police," Mr Leavers said.