Select Committee on Superannuation
Lost Innocents: Righting the Record
In its unanimous August 1994 report, the committee concluded that ‘whistleblowing is a legitimate form of action within a democracy’, recognising it is sometimes ‘the only available avenue for the concerned ethical citizen to expose wrongdoing in the public or private sector’.
The committee recommended the creation of an independent national Public Interest Disclosures Agency and the introduction of Commonwealth legislation for a comprehensive protection scheme covering public and private sector whistleblowers in all states and territories.
The government’s November 1995 response rejected the need for a new agency to manage disclosures but agreed to enact whistleblower protection legislation covering only the public sector, which took until 2013 to pass.
While subsequent government initiatives have led to improved private sector protections, recent parliamentary inquiries have advocated for the committee’s recommendations to be fully adopted. Over 25 years after its tabling, the committee’s report is still influencing the development of whistleblowing protection in Australia.
Senator Jocelyn Newman, ca 1988
Senator Christabel Chamarette