The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), which represents members in the Australian Public Service (APS) welcomes moves to protect whistleblowers, but there’s more to be done.

Reforms announced by the government to the Public Interest Disclosure Act rightly provide greater protection for public sector whistleblowers and represent long overdue improvements to this important legislation.

The previous Government failed to act to update and modernise the Public Interest Disclosure Act, and this has been detrimental for APS employees.

However, it is also vital that those speaking are able to seek advice and representation from their relevant union.

Access to union advice and support is central to the ability of whistleblowers to confidently and safely navigate the process of speaking out on matters of public integrity.

Without the ability to speak with their union representatives and access advice and support on their rights, potential whistleblowers may be deterred from raising issues.

The CPSU is calling on the government to ensure this matter is addressed before the National Anti-Corruption Commission is operational.

Quotes attributable to CPSU National Secretary, Melissa Donnelly:

“A strong and transparent National Anti-Corruption Commission is vital to our democracy.

“The CPSU welcomes moves by the Government to improve protections to the Public Interest Disclosure Act and address deficiencies, that were ignored by the previous government.

“A key part of any anti-corruption process must be protections for those who speak out on issues of public integrity.

“While the CPSU welcomes reforms to protect whistleblowers, the government needs to urgently address the ability of those speaking out to seek advice and support from their union representatives.

“Whistleblowers must be able to feel safe and protected in speaking out on integrity matters, and union representation is central to that.

“We know that speaking out on matters of public integrity can be stressful and complex – it is vital that everyone who is prepared to take that step can navigate the process with specialist advice and representation from their union representatives.”

Media Contact: Liz Bower 0408 405 121