Page 2801 - Week 07 - Thursday, 7 June 2012

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widespread failure of internal systems, preventing a disclosure from being properly dealt with, or where the corruption is so entrenched that there is no chance that an external disclosure will be taken up and investigated. Protections are only afforded to external disclosures if the disclosure is believed to be substantially true.

The fourth section of the bill deals with the protections available to disclosers once they bring wrongdoing to light. The bill aims to prevent a situation where a discloser suffers adverse outcomes following making a disclosure. Protection from legal liability is provided so that a person will not be criminally or civilly liable for anything said or done in bringing forth a public interest disclosure. Where a discloser suffers the kinds of detriment described, they may seek compensation for their loss from a court of competent jurisdiction.

The government recognises that a court process can be daunting for an individual, and we will be continuing to look into less stressful compensatory measures. In the meantime, the bill retains the ability for a person making a PID to go to the Supreme Court with some improvements. In particular, experience has shown that the effective application of civil law remedies and compensatory arrangements depends, to a large extent, on the willingness of an organisation to prosecute a case on an individual’s behalf. Accordingly, the bill contains a power for the Commissioner for Public Administration, as an oversight entity, to take action on behalf of, and for the benefit of, a discloser who suffers detriment as a result of making their disclosure.

As I have said, the bill is a central aspect of the renewed integrity framework for the ACT public sector. A robust whistleblowing regime is a good indicator of the ethical tone of public sector organisations and I suspect that with the introduction of this bill we are raising the tone of the ACT public service. It demonstrates the government’s willingness to engage with these issues, to seek remedies to identified problems and support appropriate scrutiny of the work of government. I am confident that the bill that I present today represents best practice in relation to public interest disclosure laws for the public sector.

Debate (on motion by Mr Seselja) adjourned to the next sitting.

Health (National Health Funding Pool and Administration) Bill 2012

Mr Barr, on behalf of Ms Gallagher, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation) (10.44): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

On behalf of the Chief Minister, I present to the Assembly today the Health (National Health Funding Pool and Administration) Bill 2012 which will give effect to the

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