Whistleblower Bill Needs Strengthening

19 April 2018

In light of scandalous revelations flowing from the Royal Commission into Banking, Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick has called on the Federal Government to strengthen its proposed whistleblower laws and extend protections to whistleblowers in the banking and financial services sectors.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Whistleblower Protections) Bill is currently before the Parliament and the Senate Economics Legislation Committee recently tabled its report on the Bill with Senator Patrick contributing a dissenting report.

“In the last 24 hours, in addition to disturbing revelations about AMP and CBA at the Royal Commission, we have had the former Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, admitting he was wrong in rejecting calls for a Royal Commission and the Treasurer warning that jail time might be warranted for bank executives responsible for the misconduct," said Rex. "Yet the Government-chaired Committee were happy to accept the view that the Bill 'is an improvement on current arrangements, and is at the very least a good step towards reform.'

“The Government's current position is simply unacceptable and they have no choice but to strengthen the proposed laws.

“Perfect can be the enemy of the good, but this bill ain’t even good. The Government needs to stop talking the talk and start walking the walk.

“Recommendations in my dissenting comments must be adopted without delay to put in place real whistleblower protections that will give consumers confidence that they won't have to wait for a Royal Commission before any future wrongdoing is exposed."

Senator Patrick also called on the Government to implement all of the full recommendations of the Joint Parliamentary Committee into Whistleblower Protections in the Corporate, Public and Not-for-Profit sectors.

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