Whistleblower protections to go ahead

South Australians who blow the whistle on corruption or maladministration in the public sector will have greater protections under reforms which have now passed State Parliament.

The laws enable people to pass on confidential information to Members of Parliament, and importantly journalists, where it is in the public interest, relates to environmental or public health or involves public administration.

Attorney General, Vickie Chapman said the new whistleblower protection laws would strengthen transparency and accountability in government.

“If a public servant identifies an issue that should be investigated, they should be able to pass information on to the relevant authorities without fear of reprisal,” Ms Chapman said.

“These laws will ensure that whistleblowers will not be subject to liability, as a result of their actions.

“If an authority hasn’t responded to a disclosure within 90 days, the whistleblower will then have the ability to send the information to members of the media or a member of parliament with the same level of immunity,” Ms Chapman said.

“MPs and journalists hold an important place in assisting members of the public and ensuring action is taken when required.

“This was a key recommendation of Commissioner Lander in a review of whistleblower laws in 2014, yet the former Government chose not to implement these vital policies, forcing this Government to introduce our own Bill when in Opposition.

“These laws, along with the journalist shield laws that came into effect earlier this year, are strengthening accountability in Government – and ensuring people are protected when they disclose material in the public interest,” Ms Chapman said.