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Queensland electoral commissioner suspended over ‘serious allegations’

queensland-electoral-commissioner-suspended-over-serious-allegations

Queensland's electoral commissioner Walter van der Merwe has been suspended immediately by the state's Attorney-General over "serious allegations" which she says could amount to misbehaviour under the electoral act.

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said the unspecified allegations, while serious, "do not suggest inappropriate interference in the outcome of elections".

She said Mr van der Merwe had been advised, and would be issued a show cause notice.

A special meeting of executive council was convened today to allow Ms D'Ath to also act today.

"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.

"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, will be acting commissioner.

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