The Queensland Labor Government has made three new appointments to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC).

Just prior to the Christmas break, Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace announced the appointment of a new Vice President of the Industrial Court of Queensland as well as two new appointments to the QIRC.

Samantha Pidgeon, who has worked as a teacher, industrial advocate and company director, and is currently Vice President of the Queensland Teachers’ Union has been appointed an Industrial Commissioner of the QIRC.

The appointment of Ms Pidgeon, a Labor Party member, attracted criticism from the Queensland Liberal National Party Opposition.

The Governor-in-Council had also approved the promotion of the current Deputy President of the QIRC, Daniel O’Connor, to the position of Vice President of the Industrial Court as well as the appointments of John Merrell as Deputy President of the Industrial Court of Queensland and the QIRC.

Mr O’Connor’s appointment fills the vacancy created by the resignation of former Vice President Di Linanne.

John Merrell has been a practising barrister since 2000, working mainly in the areas of industrial and employment law. He holds the degrees of Bachelor of Business majoring in Industrial Relations, a Bachelor of Laws and Master of Laws.