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Thursday, 25 September 2014
Page: 7254


Senator BRANDIS (QueenslandDeputy Leader of the Government in the Senate, Vice-President of the Executive Council, Minister for Arts and Attorney-General) (20:50): The government does not support this amendment because the mischief that it seeks to address is already provided for in relation to people who make such disclosures. It is inconceivable that an accusation or an allegation of corruption, if made in good faith, would not already be governed by the whistleblower protection regime. As well, a person can make a complaint to the IGIS. The power under the IGIS Act to approach the IGIS in relation to a complaint of that nature is unconstrained. As well, of course, if a criminal offence has been convicted, as you would expect on the factual scenario which your amendment seeks to address, Senator, then a person could without contravening section 35P report that suspected criminal activity to the Australian Federal Police, and indeed ought to do so.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: The question is that amendment (7) on sheet 7579 be agreed to.

Question negatived.