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
“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