MEDIA RELEASE

13 June 2023

Australian whistleblower protection to take historic next step

Updated Protecting Australia’s Whistleblowers: Federal Roadmap report 

Transparency International Australia, the Human Rights Law Centre and Griffith University’s Centre for Governance and Public Policy are calling on all parties to ensure new federal whistleblower protection reforms pass the Senate as it resumes sitting today.

The three groups are also releasing the latest update to their joint report, Protecting Australia’s Whistleblowers: The Federal Roadmap, marking progress so far in these overdue reforms.

Clancy Moore, CEO of Transparency International Australia said: 

“The Public Interest Disclosure Amendment (Review) Bill 2022 makes important technical improvements to our federal public sector whistleblowing regime, in time for commencement of the historic National Anti-Corruption Commission in just a few weeks’ time.”

“We thank the Attorney-General, Mark Dreyfus KC for his leadership on these reforms and for listening to concerns about potential problems with the initial reforms, reinforced by the Senate Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee. Now, it is time to get these improvements in place without any further delay.”

Professor A J Brown, from Griffith University’s Centre for Governance and Public Policy and Transparency International Australia board member said: 

“We are pleased that Australia’s world-leading research on whistleblowing has helped ensure these first improvements are a truly positive step on the road to stronger protections for federal public servants who speak up about wrongdoing – especially corruption.”

“There is a long way to go – as our updated report lays out – but every road begins with a solid step in the right direction, and this it.”

Kieran Pender, Senior Lawyer at the Human Rights Law Centre and report co-author, said: 

“Whistleblowers make Australia a better place. This Bill is a critical first step towards comprehensive reform of Australian whistleblowing laws – which also need to see us establish a whistleblower protection authority, and further massive overhaul of the protection rules not just for the public sector, but all sectors.”

“But it’s time for these initial reforms to become law, so that wider task can begin.”

FURTHER INFORMATION:

A J Brown AM, 0414 782 331

Kieran Pender, 0434 549 212

Rebecca Mackinnon, 0401 859 452 (TIA Policy and Communications Manager)

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