In the Public Interest

In the Public Interest

August 1994

© Commonwealth of Australia 1994

ISBN 0 642 21309 7

N.B. All files are in PDF format. To view or print the report, you will require the Acrobat PDF reader®, which can be downloaded free of charge from Adobe.

View the report as a single document - (PDF format) - 7 552 KB

View the report as separate downloadable parts:


Chapter 1: Introduction - (PDF format)
Conduct of the Inquiry
Consideration of individual cases
Reference to existing reports

Chapter 2: Overview - (PDF format)
Defining the terms 'whistleblower' and 'whistleblowing'
Overview comments

Chapter 3: Whistleblowing: The International Experience - (PDF format)
United States developments in Whistleblowing Legislation
Whistleblowing in the United Kingdom
The Canadian position
Recent legislative activity in New Zealand

Chapter 4: Australian Context: Federal, State and Territory Activity - (PDF format)
Recent parliamentary and government reports
Legislative activity

Chapter 5: Whistleblowing: The Human Dimensions - (PDF format)
Whistleblower support groups
Who becomes a whistleblower
Motivation and considerations in becoming a whistleblower
Personal effects suffered by whistleblowers

Chapter 6: Legislating in the Public Interest - (PDF format)
Loss of faith in 'the system'
Cultural/Attitudinal change
Existing mechanisms for change
The need for legislation

Chapter 7: An Independent Whistleblowers' Agency? - (PDF format)
Creation of a new agency
Use of existing agencies
Considerations in formulating a recommendation
Model for receiving whistleblowers' reports
Public Interest Disclosures Agency and Board
Parliamentary involvement in whistleblower protection

Chapter 8: Coverage by Legislation - Part One - (PDF format) - Part Two - (PDF format)
Public Sector Coverage
Private Sector
Public and private sector legislative coverage
Specific areas of public/private sector involvement

Chapter 9: Protection of Whistleblowers and the Subjects of Whistleblowing - Part One - (PDF format) - Part Two - (PDF format)
General observations
Acts of wrongdoing and their disclosure
Identity of the whistleblower
The reporting system and whistleblowers protection
Screening processes
Protections for whistleblowers - Reporting and Investigation
Protection for the subjects of whistleblowing
Counselling services
Advice hotline
Legal aid and assistance
Whistleblowing to the media

Chapter 10: Investigation: Powers and Protection - (PDF format)
Powers of investigating agency
Protection for investigating body and its members

Chapter 11: Remedies and Penalties - (PDF format)
Proven wrongdoing
Victimisation of the whistleblower - Orders for restitution
Rewards for whistleblowing
Penalties for false allegations
Imprisonment as a penalty option

Chapter 12: Whistleblowers Protection Bill 1993 (Senator Chamarette) - (PDF format)
Provisions of the Whistleblowers Protection Bill 1993
Comments relating to the bill
General comments


Appendix 1: List of published submissions

Appendix 2: Individuals who appeared before the Committee at public hearings

Appendix 3: Bibliography