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Whistleblowers 

Legal Aid Queensland cannot give legal advice about this type of law

We cannot provide further assistance or advice on this area of law beyond the legal information below.
Please refer to one of the organisations listed at the bottom of this page if you need more help.

Legal Information

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.

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Do I need legal advice?

You may need legal advice if you have questions about the Public Interest Disclosures 2010 Act including whether you might be protected by that act.

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Where can I get legal advice

Legal Aid Queensland cannot provide legal advice about whistleblowers, or related matters. We cannot give legal advice to public servants who are being investigated for corrupt conduct.

If you need advice about these issues, you should speak to a private solicitor who practices in this area of law.

Queensland Law Society can refer you to a specialist private solicitor for advice or representation.

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Who else can help?

These organisations may also be able to assist with your matter. They do not provide legal advice.

Crime and Corruption Commission works to improve the integrity of the state public sector, and can investigate complaints of corrupt conduct.

Queensland Ombudsman investigates complaints about the decisions and actions of Queensland's public sector agencies, including state government departments, statutory authorities, local councils and universities.

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Disclaimer - Copyright © 1997 Legal Aid Queensland. This content is provided as an information source only and is not legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should seek legal advice from a lawyer. Legal Aid Queensland believes the information is accurate as at 1 July 2007 but accepts no responsibility for any errors or omissions and denies all liability for any expenses, losses, damages and costs you might incur due to the information being inaccurate or incomplete in any way.



Last modified: 26 May 2015 4:15PM
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Whistleblowers