Liberals push for increased whistleblower protection

The State Liberals will continue to fight for increased whistleblower protection when State Parliament debates the Public Interest Disclosure Bill 2016 this morning.

The Bill will head to a deadlock conference after the Weatherill Labor Government used its numbers in the Lower House to block Liberal amendments that were passed by the Upper House.

The Liberal amendments would allow whistleblowers to approach media outlets with information that is in the public interest if authorities had failed to act when notified of a problem.

Deputy State Liberal Leader Vickie Chapman said the amendments would provide safety and certainty to whistleblowers.

“We need to end the poisonous culture of secrecy and cover-up that has infected South Australia under Jay Weatherill’s leadership,” said Ms Chapman.

“The Weatherill Labor Government’s addiction to secrecy has seen horrible government failures like the mistreatment and abuse of patients at Oakden swept under the rug.

“Providing whistleblowers with increased protection will allow people to come forward with information that is in the public interest without fear of retribution.”

Last year the Weatherill Labor Government combined with so-called independent MP's Martin Hamilton-Smith and Geoff Brock, to oppose the State Liberals’ plan to introduce ‘shield laws’ for journalists.

Under the ‘shield law’ proposal, journalists would have been exempt from identifying confidential sources of information when questioned by investigative bodies such as the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption.