The Australian Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon today announced that the Greens would legislate to strengthen national whistle-blower laws to guarantee anonymity and immunity to those from the private sector for the first time.
"Recent events in the higher education sector have highlighted the inadequacies in Australia's current whistle-blower protection regime.
"Private education companies receive billions of dollars in public funding, and if the Federal Government has its way they would receive hundreds of millions more, yet they are exempt from current whistle-blower protections.
"Australia's whistle-blower protection laws have been criticised from a number of quarters for being too narrow and not affording protection to enough whistle-blowers for some time.
"ASIC has been lobbying for years for whistle-blower protections to be extended to the private sector and a recent report by the G20 concluded that Australia was behind Britain and the United States when it comes to whistle-blower protections.
"Whistle-blowers play an important role in ensuring public funds aren't spent on potentially fraudulent activities, and the Greens will move to ensure that whistle-blowers in private education companies are awarded the same protections as those in the public sector as a first step in enhancing our national whistle-blower regime," Senator Rhiannon said.
Brami Jegan for Lee Rhiannon 0487 350 880