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Whistleblowers

We don't give legal advice about this area of law.

The information below may help you to resolve your matter or find out who else can help.

A whistleblower is a person who discloses information about wrongdoings for the benefit of the public. In Queensland the law protects whistleblowers from criminal prosecution or legal action being taken against them.

Whistleblowing is sometimes referred to as making a public interest disclosure.

What is a public interest disclosure?

A public interest disclosure (PID) is a disclosure about suspected wrongdoing or danger in the public sector. Allegations about wrongdoing in the public sector, by public sector workers and members of the public, help to uncover corruption and other misuses of public resources. 

For more information about what and is covered by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010  (PDF, 591 KB) visit the Queensland Ombudsman website.

Who is protected?

The PID Act allows for certain protections to be given to people making a disclosure—this includes ensuring they are protected from retribution of reprisals such as bullying or harassment. There are also general provisions to keep the identity and information disclosed confidential.

The Queensland Ombudsman has comprehensive information to help you decide whether to make a disclosure.

Consideration should also be given to the interest of the person who is a subject of a PID.

Reporting wrongdoing

You can report wrongdoing to:

  • a relevant authority within the organisation where the wrongdoing took place
  • any member of legislative assembly
  • the Crime and Corruption Commission.

The following Queensland Ombudsman publications have information about how to report wrongdoing:

Visit the Queensland Ombudsman website for information about:

Do I need legal advice?

You may need legal advice if you want to make a PID, and have questions about the PID Actincluding whether you might be protected under the Act.

We don’t give advice about this area of law, and we can’t give legal advice to public servants who are being investigated for corrupt conduct.

If you need advice, you should speak to a private lawyer who practices in this area of law. Queensland Law Society can refer you to a specialist private lawyer for advice or representation.

Who else can help?

These organisations may be able to help. They don’t give 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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