Queensland Electoral Commissioner resigns following ‘serious allegations’

UPDATE @ February 14, 11.00am: Queensland Electoral Commissioner Walter van der Merwe has resigned.

His resignation comes just days after he was suspended over serious allegations.

No details about the allegations have yet been released.


Queensland Attorney General Yvette D’ath released the following statement regarding the QEC’s future:

“Electoral Commission of Queensland Electoral Commissioner Walter van der Merwe has delivered his resignation to the Governor this morning,” she said.

“Acting Electoral Commissioner arrangements are already in place and a recruitment process will begin shortly.

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

EARLIER @ February 12, 4.50pm: The Queensland Electoral Commissioner Walter van der Merwe has been suspended after serious allegations were raised against him.

Details of the allegations have not been released but if proven, could amount to misbehaviour which is likely to lead to his sacking.

Attorney General Yvette D’Ath today made a recommendation to the Executive Council that Mr van der Merwe be suspended pending an investigation.

Ms D’Ath says that while the allegations are serious, they don’t suggest interference in election outcomes and the public should not be concerned.

“The public can be assured that ECQ’s core obligations will continue to be met.

“The ECQ’s current Assistant Electoral Commissioner Dermot Tiernan will be Acting Electoral Commissioner,” she said.

Mr van der Merwe will now have to respond to the allegations before a final decision is made about his future.

He’ll remain on full pay while suspended.