Senate debates

Wednesday, 10 May 2023


Public Interest Disclosure Amendment (Review) Bill 2022; In Committee

11:59 am

Photo of David ShoebridgeDavid Shoebridge (NSW, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

Minister, I think consultation is important, but obviously, of course, landing this and getting the protections in place are of greater importance. Given there are so many gaps in whistleblower protection, and I reference in particular the contribution that Senator Scarr made in terms of the absence of a whistleblower commission and the absence of any kind of substantive agency with the resources and the capacity to help whistleblowers in what are these otherwise David-and-Goliath battles, if the consultation starts within 12 months, is there a commitment from the government to land the consultation within 12 months and to bring those statutory reforms before the parliament within 12 months so that this time next year whistleblowers will actually have world-class protection? Or is it just a commitment to start the consultation sometime within the next 12 months with an indefinite conclusion? I think Senator Cash's point about trying to rush through complex legislation like this, that has important public interest outcomes, trying to ram through that legislation in the dying days of a parliament, in the last few weeks or months of a parliament, has proven in the case of the PID Act to produce legislation that has problems and doesn't have the kind of thoroughness that's needed. So, is the commitment to land the consultation and bring the amendments within 12 months, or are we going to be repeating history and rushing to try to strap stuff up as this parliament comes to a conclusion? What's the commitment, Minister?


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