Whistleblower hotline created to deter another Murray-Darling Basin scandal

Posted 31 October 2017

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In a bid to encourage public servants to disclose misconduct in the midst of the current Murray-Darling Basin corruption scandal, the Department of Industry will be set up an independent whistleblower hotline. 

The hotline will aim to protect public servants and the public if they report suspected fraud or misconduct related to water management. 

The hotline comes in the wake of NSW bureaucrat Gavin Hanlon’s resignation due to allegations of misconduct relating to water theft in the northern Murray-Darling Basin.

Only a few complaints are lodged each year, and it’s expected people are deterred from reporting as a result of intimidation. 

“The reasons for this low incidence of reporting are suspected to be concerns about the possible detrimental impact upon the individual notwithstanding the legislated protections available,” the department told the Daily Telegraph.

“The establishment of a ‘speak up’ hotline is a further demonstration of the Department of Industry’s commitment to creating a culture that allows staff to offer frank and fearless advice, while also reassuring the public that all complaints or concerns reported will be taken seriously,” Department of Industry Minister Niall Blair’s spokesperson said.

“The hotline is being established to encourage a more open culture within the Department. It will also be open to the public.”
 
Related articles:
NSW water bureaucrat resigns following Murray-Darling corruption allegations
NSW minister grants himself power to approve illegal Murray-Darling Basin works
Update: water theft allegations prompt Murray-Darling Basin review