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Tuesday, 24 November 2015
Page: 8830


Senator XENOPHON (South Australia) (18:36): Senator Carr can correct me if I am wrong but, as I understand it, his amendments relate to strengthening the penalties for whistleblowers. What does the government say in relation to why this is unnecessary in the context of this bill or what is being proposed? So if I can narrow it down. What does the government say, that this amendment is either unnecessary or counterproductive? And what does the government say about what it has in place at the moment that gives at least some measure of protection to whistleblowers? My understanding is that there is some measure of protection for whistleblowers, but Senator Carr is seeking to add to that. I need to understand why the government says that this will not help the situation, that this will not improve protections for whistleblowers or will have unintended consequences in respect of that. I am just trying to fairly understand the amendment. It is complex and I think it is fair that we understand why the government says this will be unnecessary or counterproductive or will have unintended consequences. I would be more than happy to hear from Senator Carr if he has anything to add on this.