News Queensland Queensland electoral commissioner quits

Queensland electoral commissioner quits

queensland electoral commissioner walter van der merwe
Queensland electoral commissioner Walter van der Merwe has quit. Photo: ABC
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Queensland’s electoral commissioner Walter van der Merwe has quit, after being issued a show cause notice following “serious allegations” against him.

The commissioner was stood aside on Monday, after the Attorney-General recommended the Governor make the move.

In a statement, Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said Mr van der Merwe delivered his resignation to the Governor this morning, and provided a copy to her.

“Acting electoral commissioner arrangements are already in place and a recruitment process will begin shortly,” the statement reads.

“In the meantime, the allegations against Mr van der Merwe will be investigated to finalise the issues raised.”

Ms D’Ath would not confirm the nature of the allegations, other than stating they were related to “misbehaviour” under the Electoral Act.

A special meeting of executive council was convened on Monday.

“It’s a show cause process and I will be providing the electoral commissioner with the allegations, and giving him adequate time to respond to those allegations before making a final decision,” Ms D’Ath said at the time.

“It is my decision, again recommending to Governor-in-Council whether misbehaviour has occurred and there should be a termination of his contract.

“The Governor has today approved my recommendation on all of the information that I have relied on to make my decision and that information was put before the Governor today in his consideration.”

The current assistant electoral commissioner, Dermot Tiernan, has been the acting commissioner.