Accountable government

Whistleblower protections

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Whistleblowing is the single most important trigger – and often the first trigger for bringing problems to light.

In the past, Australia has led the world with protections for public interest whistleblowing. From the early 1990s we were the first country after the United States to enact comprehensive public sector whistleblowing laws.

As recently as 2019, our private sector laws were the first to give whistleblowers rights to compensation if companies fail in their duty to protect them.

However, overall, Australia’s whistleblower protection laws are now falling behind.

Australia’s federal public service, aged care and disability sectors suffer from limited, out of date and inconsistent whistleblower protections. Complex loopholes in public and private sector laws allow whistleblowers to be prosecuted without due regard to the public interest they serve.

Transparency International Australia is advocating for legislative reform so that Australia can once again lead the world on whistleblower protections.

roadmap to whistleblower reform

Our roadmap for whistleblower protection sets out the 12 key areas of reform we need to improve, spanning:

  • Effective administration and enforcement of whistleblower protection laws
  • Ensuring these laws contain consistent, best practice protections
  • Making sure the thresholds and limitations in these laws are workable.

Blueprint for action

Our comprehensive report, Australia’s National Integrity System: The Blueprint for Action, shows us how we can build a stronger, fairer and more accountable system of government.

This blueprint looks at Australia’s whole framework of integrity institutions and shows us how we can act to make our system better.

It includes a chapter focused on whistleblowing and provides clear recommendations for strengthening private and public sector whistleblower protections.


Find out more