2010

It all began with a public-interest whistleblower. Yet within a few years of the Fitzgerald Inquiry, Queensland legislative efforts to encourage and protect whistleblowing - while historic in some respects - had fallen short of the types of measures identified as realistically needed to prevent the case for such an inquiry from arising again. This article examines the role of ?whistleblowing' or ?public-interest disclosure' legislation in modern integrity systems, and the priorities for law reform in Queensland, in light of 20 years of post-Fitzgerald experience as well as recent, comprehensive empirical research into the magement of whistleblowing in the Australian public sector. While much has been achieved, this experience demonstrates the need to return to first principles in strengthening whistleblowing arrangements, on basic issues such as mechanisms for ensuring organisatiol justice for public officers who speak up about wrongdoing, and in recognising the role of the media as a whistleblowing avenue of last resort. The article also charts imperatives for further research and legislative reform to ensure best practice in the protection of whistleblowers in the non-government sectors, as well as non-whistleblower complaints and informants, if Queensland and Australian integrity systems are to return to a position of intertiol leadership.