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Whistleblowers Australia

Civil Remedies
Common Law
State Statutory Provisions
Federal Statutory Provisions
Civil Remedies

Common Law

Re the duty of employers to support and protect whistleblowers: Refer to Wheadon v The State of NSW (unreported, DC [NSW], Cooper J No. 7322/88, 2 February 2001). 

The court found that the NSW Police had failed to conduct a proper and adequate investigation of Wheadon’s disclosures or the allegations made against him, failed to provide pro-active protection, and failed to support and provide guidance and assistance and failed to assure him that he had done the right thing.

Injunctive relief may be sought in equity in courts of competent jurisdiction.

State Statutory Provisions

These allow for a person who suffers detrimental action to seek injunctive relief and/or civil damages by way of court action.

 Aust. Capital Territory: Public-Interest Disclosure Act 1994 (ACT) ss.29-31

New South Wales: Not available

Northern Territory: Public-Interest Disclosure Act 2008 (NT) ss.16-17

Queensland: Whistleblower-Protection Act 1994 (QLD) ss.43(1) & 48

South Australia: Whistleblower-Protection Act 1993 (SA) s.9(2)a

Tasmania: Public-Interest Disclosure Act 2002 (TAS) ss.20-22

Victoria: Whistleblower-Protection Act 2001 (VIC) ss.19-21

Western Australia: Public-Interest Disclosure Act 2003 (WA) s.15(1)

Note: applications for injunctive relief are not available under the NSW, SA, WA or Commonwealth Acts. http://www.austlii.edu.au/ 

Federal Statutory Provisions

Parts 3-1 of Chapter 3 of the Fair Work Australia Act 2009: This allows a person to seek relief from injury and/or discrimination in employment or dismissal arising out of an employer’s breach of a workplace right under a workplace law or instrument. A person has a workplace right if they are entitled to make a complaint or inquiry to a person having the capacity under a workplace law or instrument to seek compliance with that law. Example: A workplace right to blow the whistle in the public interest. Actions are commenced by way of an application for orders in the Federal Court or Federal Magistrates' Court (e.g.) to restrain an employer from taking an adverse action against a whistleblower.  Re 'adverse actions', refer to section 340 onwards.

See below: These provisions allow a public-service whistleblower to complain about reprisals (victimisation/discrimination) taken in breach of the relevant code of conduct.

Public Service Act 1999 s.16

Parliamentary Service Act 1999. s.16

For all legislation go to http://www.austlii.edu.au/

HOME: http://www.whistleblowers.org.au

Copyright Whistleblowers Australia 2007-2010. (Last update: 17 November 2010.)