The Age 9!/11/19) reports: Victoria Police has launched a criminal investigation into two people it suspects are the whistleblowers who exposed how travel company Helloworld gave free international flights to the family of Finance Minister Mathias Cormann.
It appears that every time someone blows the whistle on government behaviour such as the letting of multi-million dollar travel contracts to friends of government ministers who receive free travel, the illegal tapping of foreign government offices during trade negotiations, the behaviour of Special Forces overseas, or the publication of documentation related to these activities, then the people responsible for this are subject to harassment by state agencies and police forces.
The argument that is extended in all of these cases is that it is in the Interest of national security.
In each of these cases, it appears that the interests of the nation were not being served, rather than the interests of the current government were being served at the expense of the wider interests of the people of Australia and in particular their right to know what the government was doing to protect their particular interests.
In the case of the Helloworld travel scandal there can be no possible argument of national security or national interest. The whole fiasco was a complete disgrace.
The company concerned is controlled by ex-Liberal Party Treasurer and party donor Andrew Burnes with a 35% interest. Burnes also personally arranged the free travel to Singapore for the senator and his family.
A billion-dollar contract was awarded to the company (of which ex-Treasurer and US ambassador Joe Hockey is a shareholder) shortly after Senator Corman had received the free travel.
The people who exposed this are now being Investigated by the police to find out how they obtained this information.
This comes to the very heart of being a whistleblower. You have to be able to access information about illegal activity. This means taking it from your employer. Your employer can always say that you have stolen it.
That is the only way that you can expose illegal activity.
So whistleblower legislation needs to cover and protect this kind of activity.