The Queensland Ombudsman, together with the Crime and Misconduct Commission and the Public Service Commission, has produced a brochure which explains the Whistleblowers Protection Act 1994 (Qld).
The Act was introduced to provide protection for those who speak out about any wrongdoing in the public sector, commonly known as ‘blowing the whistle’. This whistleblowing is referred to in the Act as making a public interest disclosure (PID). The Act outlines who can make a PID, what they can disclose who they can disclose it to and the protections to disclosers.
A person does not have to be a public sector employee to make a PID about either a danger to the health or safety of a person with a disability, or to the environment, or a reprisal against a person because a PID has been made.
However, the right to make a PID about official misconduct, maladministration, a substantial waste of public funds and a danger to public health or safety is restricted to public sector employees only.
Even if a report of wrongdoing is not a PID, employees must still be protected from reprisal, and organisations are required to assess and deal with allegations using appropriate mechanisms, such as complaint handling or workplace health and safety policies, where necessary.
You can access the Whistleblowers Protection Act 1994 (Qld) brochure at www.ombudsman.qld.gov.au