Protected Disclosures

Protected Disclosure Act 2012

(formally Whistleblowers Protection Act)

In February 2013, the State Government introduced integrity reforms in Victoria that included the creation of the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC), a body established to promote integrity and accountability across the Victorian public sector, the Victorian Inspectorate, whose role is to oversee both the IBAC and the Ombudsman, and the new Accountability and Oversight Parliamentary Committee which has oversight over the Ombudsman. 

The former Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001 was repealed and replaced with the Protected Disclosure Act 2012 which enables people to make disclosures about improper conduct within the public sector without fear of reprisal.

The Act aims to ensure openness and accountability by encouraging people to make disclosures and protecting them when they do.

How does Council treat 'Protected Disclosures'?

Council does not tolerate corrupt or improper conduct by the organisation, its agents, officers, members, Councillors nor the taking of reprisals against those who come forward to disclose such conduct.

Employees and members of the public are encouraged to report known or suspected incidences of corrupt or improper conduct.

How do I make a 'Protected Disclosure'?

Protected Disclosures may be made by employees or by members of the public. Part 2 of The Act provides that a person may make a disclosure:

  • Orally;
  • In writing;
  • Electronically; or
  • Anonymously

Protected Disclosures may relate to corrupt or improper conduct by:

  • The organisation
  • Employees
  • Councillors

Council can only address disclosures that relate to Murrindindi Shire Council. Protected Disclosures about Councillors must be addressed by the IBAC.

How will Council protect a person making a 'Protected Disclosure'?

Council will take all reasonable steps to protect a person who makes a protected disclosure. All correspondence, phone calls and emails from persons making a protected disclosure are referred to the Protected Disclosure Coordinator who will take all necessary steps to ensure that the identity of the person making a protected disclosure and the person who is subject of the disclosure are kept confidential. Where necessary, the Protected Disclosure Coordinator will arrange for appropriate welfare support for the person making a protected disclosure.

Who do I contact?

Disclosures should be confidentially addressed to:

  • Mr Michael Chesworth - Protected Disclosures Coordinator 
    • By post: PO Box 138, Alexandra VIC 3714
    • By email: mchesworth@murrindindi.vic.gov.au  
    • Direct phone: (03) 5772 0335
    • Mobile: 0408 576 588
    • In person: Alexandra Municipal Offices, 28 Perkins Street Alexandra 3714

OR

  • Mrs Liz Peddie - Protected Disclosure Officer
    • By post: PO Box 138, Alexandra Vic 3714
    • By email: lpeddie@murrindindi.vic.gov.au
    • Direct phone: (03) 5772 0396
    • Mobile: 0429 878 041
    • In person: Alexandra Municipal Offices, 28 Perkins Street Alexandra 3714

Alternative Contacts:

  • Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC)
    • Address: GP Box 24234, Melbourne Victoria 3000
    • Internet: www.ibac.vic.gov.au
    • Phone: 1300 735 135
    • Note: All disclosures about Councillors should be directed to the IBAC.
  • Victorian Ombudsman
    • Level 9, North Tower, 459 Collins Street, Melbourne Victoria 3000
    • Phone: 03 9613 6222
    • Toll free: 1800 806 314
    • Email: ombudvic@ombudsman.vic.gov.au

What happens next?

Once it is determined that the complaint is a Protected Disclosure, Council will investigate the matter. The person making the complaint will be kept informed of action taken, and the time frames that apply.

Alternatives to making a 'Protected Disclosure'?

These procedures are designed to complement normal methods of submitting complaints to Council and existing communication channels between supervisors and employees.