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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for Reconstruction
    The Honourable Anna Bligh


    Premier and Minister for Reconstruction
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Sunday, July 24, 2011


    Premier Anna Bligh has thanked Major General Mick Slater on behalf of all Queenslanders at the end of his six month tenure at the helm of the Queensland Reconstruction Authority.

    Ms Bligh has announced that Brisbane born Major General Richard Wilson will be the new chair of the QRA effective from 1 September this year.

    “When I first called Major General Mick Slater to ask him to take on the task of reconstruction in Queensland it was already a big job and a big ask,” said Ms Bligh.

    “He was appointed head of the then Flood Recovery Taskforce on January 5 – before the devastating inland tsunami, before Ipswich went under, before the Brisbane River burst its banks and before Cyclone Yasi slammed into our northern coastline.

    “As the task he faced grew from daunting, to immense, to colossal, he did not flinch.

    “His strength, courage and leadership have been invaluable to me and to the people of Queensland. He promised us six months and he will give us eight. He has done our State a great service in that time.

    “Around nine thousand kilometres of our roads were damaged and nearly eight and a half thousand of those kilometres are open today, although there is an extensive job to be done permanently repairing them.

    “Of the 89 bridges and culverts affected by the natural disasters 88 have been recovered and all 411 affected schools across the State are open and teaching our children.

    “Many residents of the devastated town of Grantham are preparing to move to higher ground and Major General Slater’s leadership means Operation Queenslander is building it back better across our State.

    “His legacy will be a stronger, more resilient Queensland. Thanks to Major General Mick Slater our recovery has solid foundations.”

    Major General Slater said he was honoured to have been given the opportunity to serve Queensland at such a difficult time.

    “The people of Queensland have been an inspiration to me during these last six months,” he said.

    “It has been an honour to be part of the reconstruction and their strength, resilience and good humour has made the task of rebuilding possible.”

    Premier Bligh thanked the Australian Defence Force for extending the Major General's tenure until September.

    "Unfortunately the ADF now requires his considerable talents elsewhere," she said.

    Premier Bligh said Major General Richard Wilson, who is currently based in Canberra, would arrive in Queensland in September to take up the position.

    “He has big shoes to fill but his record shows he has the character and expertise needed to take Operation Queenslander into this next stage,” said Premier Bligh.

    "The  progress made by the QRA has been recognised as setting a world leading pace but many people are still waiting to get back into their homes and the disasters were so devastating that many communities will be rebuilding for quite some time.

    "Major General Wilson will continue in the position until the QRAs task is complete in 2013."

    Born in Brisbane, Australia on 16 January 1955, Major General Richard (Dick) Wilson is an infantryman with extensive command experience at all levels from platoon to division. He is currently serving as Director of the Defence Intelligence Organisation, the strategic-level all source assessment agency of the Defence Organisation.

    He has also held a wide range of staff appointments, mainly in the areas of operations, plans and strategy. Seconded to the Office of National Assessments as a Defence Liaison Officer and Military Analyst in 1993, he was subsequently the Army representative on the Writing Team for the 1994 Defence White Paper, ‘Defending Australia’.

    Major General Wilson has also served on exchange with a US Army Division (1991-1992) and on operations with the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (January 2001-March 2002).

    “I am a proud Queenslander and I look forward to building on the excellent job that has already been done following these terrible natural disasters,” he said last night. 


    Queensland Reconstruction Authority - Steve Keating on 0408 720 081
    Premier's Office - 07 32244500