The argument of R.S. Gilbert (Letters, November 9) that whistleblowers "threaten good public service" is plainly muddle-headed.
Rather than "misleading the public", whistleblowers are a potential enormous asset towards improvement in effectiveness and governance. To disclose covered-up errors, malpractices, fraud or corruption is extremely difficult in the work environment. Peer group pressure, the tendency to shrug, ignore unpleasantness, and keep quiet are very strong. In many cases, it’s the superior who is the problem: how can the employee appeal to them?
I have immediate knowledge of the stress suffered by people with the courage to blow the whistle, and the price they pay. Whistleblowers need all the legal protection we can give them, more than now.
I urge readers to get a copy of Public Interest Disclosure Legislation in Australia: Towards a new Generation. It’s an issues paper published this month.
(Canberra Times letter)