TIA welcomes Attorney-General’s commitment to better support whistleblowers

21 June 2019

Reports today that Attorney-General Christian Porter is opening the door to reforms that better support our federal public servants to blow the whistle is welcome news.’ said Transparency International Australia CEO Serena Lillywhite.

‘A healthy democracy depends on the ability to hold decision-makers to account, and for that we need transparency. Whistleblowers play a crucial role in exposing wrong-doing – we should value their contributions and support them to speak out.

‘Mr Porter’s interest in strengthening a pro-disclosure culture goes to the heart of the reforms we need. With greater transparency and a commitment to accountability and integrity, we prevent corruption and misconduct before it occurs.

‘The recent Australian Federal Police raids on journalists’ homes and offices risk having a chilling effect on public servants who want to blow the whistle on wrong-doing. These raids and the court cases against prominent whistleblowers demonstrate that Australia’s federal whistleblower protection law needs to be reformed, and our media better supported to expose crime and misconduct.

‘Earlier this year, Australia led the world with its new improvements to private sector whistleblowing laws. Because these reforms set out a pro-active approach to supporting and valuing whistleblowers, they have the power to inspire a culture-changing shift towards greater accountability and integrity. Our public servants deserve the same high standards of protection and support.

‘Importantly, a strong pro-integrity system also requires an independent whistleblower protection authority with the right skills and the responsibility to support to all whistleblowers.

‘We look forward to working with the Government on these important reforms to strengthen our democracy.’