Vic emergency boss resigns over behaviour

Georgie Moore and Christine McGinn
Victoria's Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley has quit amid bullying allegations

Victoria's emergency commissioner has apologised for "inappropriate workplace behaviour" after quitting the post amid a bullying investigation.

Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley resigned effective immediately on Tuesday after spending weeks on leave.

In a statement, he acknowledged occasions of "inappropriate workplace behaviour that was abrasive and confronting".

"I did not treat people with the great respect they deserved," Mr Lapsley said, adding he could have done more to show his "unquestioned admiration of and support for people who are at the heart of the state's emergency response system".

The resignation came as Deputy Premier and Emergency Services Minister James Merlino said there were serious allegations around workplace behaviour and bullying.

"It is on the public record that there has been a WorkSafe investigation into workplace issues within Emergency Management Victoria," he told reporters.

"Mr Lapsley himself has acknowledged that his behaviour has fallen well short of expectations.

"From a personal point of view as minister for emergency services, I am disappointed. This is an outcome that no one wanted but this is the appropriate course of action."

Appointed in 2014, Mr Lapsley late last year apologised for bullying claims levelled against senior staff in the organisation.

Mr Merlino said there had been issues for "a little while" and the matter came to a head as Mr Lapsley took leave amid a WorkSafe investigation.

"I had a direct discussion with Mr Lapsley that I as (emergency services) minister would not tolerate bullying behaviour in the workplace," Mr Merlino added.

WorkSafe could not comment except to say it was continuing to look at complaints of bullying within EMV.

Mr Merlino said he would make an announcement about Mr Lapsley's replacement in the coming days.