What is a whistleblower?
A whistleblower is a person who discloses information about wrongdoings for the benefit of the public. In Queensland, whistleblowers are protected by law from criminal prosecution or legal action being taken against them.
The Crime and Corruption Commission, the Queensland Ombudsman and the Queensland government have a joint publication called Thinking about blowing the whistle? (PDF) for public sector whistleblowers, which includes information about:
- what to consider before reporting any wrongdoing
- who to report wrongdoing to
- what will happen after you make a public interest disclosure.
The Queensland Ombudsman also has information on their website about making public interest disclosures.
Who is protected?
The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 protects Queensland public sector employees who disclose information about wrongdoings for the benefit of the public.
This includes information about:
- substantial misuse of public funds
- corrupt conduct
- maladministration (eg illegal or oppressive or improper administrative action)
- substantial danger to public health or safety.
The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 also protects any person (whether or not they’re a public sector employee) who discloses information about:
- substantial danger to the health or safety of a person with a disability
- substantial danger to the environment
- a reprisal (eg a person suffers a detriment because of a disclosure).
Who should a whistleblower tell?
You should tell somebody in the organisation in which the wrongdoing happened or any member of legislative assembly or the Crime and Corruption Commission.