Helen Haines, David Pocock to launch whistleblower report

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Australia was once a world leader in whistleblower protection, but in two decades it has fallen far behind, a new report reveals on Wednesday.

Independent MP Helen Haines and Senator David Pocock will launch “Protecting Australia’s Whistleblowers: The Federal Roadmap”, which will call on the government to reform whistleblower protection.

The report, compiled by Griffith University, will set out a 12-step roadmap for better protection.

Attorney General Mark Dreyfus has proposed new laws to strengthen protections, but Dr Haines and Senator Pocock say more needs to be done.

It follows a speech in Parliament on Monday by fellow Independent MP Andrew Wilkie, who said he had received thousands of pages of documents from a coal industry whistleblower.

HELENE HAINES
Camera iconHelen Haines says Australia has fallen behind. NCA NewsWire/Gary Ramage Credit: News Corp Australia

Dr Haines said Australia had fallen behind and had the opportunity to be at the forefront of best practice again.

“What we’re seeing right now is when procedures fail for whistleblowers, when agencies or companies report a whistleblower, there’s currently no federal agency to investigate. independently on these people,” she told ABC Radio.

“There is no refuge for them, and there is no clarity on what they should do.

“(Reform) I think it’s something we really need.”

Dr Haines tried to implement reforms through his Integrity Commission legislation introduced under the Morrison government, but said that while the government’s National Anti-Corruption Commission Bill Albanian included increased protections, there were still holes.

“They need medicine and they need medicine very quickly,” she said.

The report released on Wednesday will highlight the need for an independent whistleblower protection authority.

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