Electoral Commission Queensland

Our organisation

Our organisational structure (PDF, 19.5 KB) ensures our efforts and resources are focussed on providing quality electoral services throughout Queensland, and ensuring that our electoral system is accessible to all electors.

ECQ staff are expected to adhere to the Queensland Public Service Code of Conduct (PDF, 139.7 KB), which establishes the principles of ethical behaviour that public service staff must uphold.

Electoral Commissioner

Walter van der Merwe profile picture

Walter van der Merwe is Queensland’s Electoral Commissioner.

Walter joined ECQ in 2010 as the Assistant Electoral Commissioner and was appointed as the Queensland Electoral Commissioner in 2014.  As Commissioner, Walter has overseen significant electoral administration advances in Queensland including telephone voting, online training for electoral staff and electronic electoral roll mark off.  He holds a strong interest in improving accessibility for marginal groups to cast their vote independently and in secret.

During his time with ECQ, Walter has directed the administration of two state general elections, the 2012 local government quadrennial elections, eight de-amalgamation elections for local governments and numerous by-elections for state and local governments.  Walter has also served on state and local government electoral boundary commissions.

Currently, Walter holds appointments on a number of boards that deal with electoral matters. His appointments include Change Commissioner, Local Government Change Commission (Queensland); Commissioner, Queensland Redistribution Commission; Chair, State and Territory Electoral Council; Member, Electoral Council of Australia and New Zealand; and Council Member, Queensland Treasury Penalty Debt Management Council.

He has a strong background in public administration, previously holding executive positions within the Queensland Government. Walter came to ECQ from the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Walter holds tertiary honorary qualifications across Social Science, Economics and Business. Walter originally hails from Zimbabwe.


Assistant Electoral Commissioner

Dermot Tiernan profile picture

Dermot Tiernan was appointed to the position of Assistant Electoral Commissioner in November 2014, bringing with him 20 years of experience and leadership in the Queensland, New South Wales and Victorian public sectors. In his role, Dermot works with an executive leadership team focussed on delivering electoral services that are innovative, respected and trusted by the Queensland community.

His drive is to enhance initiatives that facilitate business productivity, growth and performance. This is only possible by having a motivated and engaged team that enjoys open communication and utilises transparent operational procedures.

Dermot has served on numerous national committees including those reforming food standards and labelling, stem cell and genetic technology regulation. In Queensland he led delivery of policies to support solar electricity generation, relief from rising power costs for multiple sclerosis sufferers, and regulation of electrical products (energy efficiency). Before joining ECQ, Dermot managed the transition of the Queensland Ambulance Service into Queensland Health and streamlined the approvals process for petroleum tenure assessment.

An accredited journalist, Dermot also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and a Masters of Applied Economics. Along with his professional experience and education, Dermot brings a passion for political history, cricket and music to his role at ECQ.