Whistleblower information

A whistleblower is someone who is aware of illegal activities or corruption in the public or private sectors. This person makes the information known to authorities so that it can be investigated in the public interest.

The South Australian Whistleblowers Protection Act 1993 (the Act) commenced operation in September 1993. The aim of the Act is to encourage the disclosure of maladministration and waste in the public sector and corrupt or illegal conduct generally. It provides the means by which disclosures may be made, and subsequent protection (from victimisation and civil or criminal liability) for those who make disclosures.

The Act clearly stipulates conditions which must be met in order for a person making a disclosure to receive protection. The Act does not protect people who knowingly make a false claim or who make a reckless claim.

DEWNR has developed a procedure which:

  • specifies how disclosures of public interest information can be made within the department (by departmental employees and members of the public), and
  • specifies the procedures for handling complaints of victimisation as a result of whistleblower disclosures.

Please see the Whistleblowers Procedure (3.33mb pdf).

Complaints under the Whistleblowers Protection can be made to the following Departmental 'Responsible Officers':

Stephanie Ziersch

Director, Strategy, Governance & Engagement
Ph: (+61 8) 8463 3497
GPO Box 1047, Adelaide, SA, 5001

Linda Hundertmark

Manager, People, Capability & Culture 
Ph: (+61 8) 8463 7917
GPO Box 1047, Adelaide, SA, 5001

Renee Palmer 

Manager, Business Support, South East Region
Ph: (+61 8) 8735 1142
GPO Box 1047, Adelaide, SA, 5001

Dan Jordan 

Director, Water & Climate Change
Ph: (61 +) 8463 7004
GPO Box 1047, Adelaide, SA, 5001

Katherine Still 

Risk & Audit Team
Ph: (+61 8) 8204 9319
GPO Box 1047, Adelaide, SA, 5001

Graeme Lipsham

Risk & Audit Team
Ph: (+61 8) 8204 9218
GPO Box 1047, Adelaide, SA, 5001

Although it is preferable that matters relating to public interest which fall within the responsibility of the Department are reported to and investigated by officers of the Department, complaints can be made under the Act to a number of external agencies. Please see the list of appropriate authorities (12kb pdf).

Complaints may also be made to the Office of Public Integrity, if they involve corruption or serious or systemic maladministration or misconduct by:

Phone: (+61 8) 8207 1777 (country callers can phone 1300 782 489 for the cost of a local call)

Post: GPO Box 11066, Adelaide, SA, 5001

Email: admin@opi.sa.gov.au

Online: complete the online complaint form at www.icac.sa.gov.au

In person: at the Office for Public Integrity, Level 1, 55 Currie Street, Adelaide. Make an appointment to attend in person by telephoning (+61 8) 8207 1777.

Whistleblowing allegations are serious and before proceeding it is advisable to seek the advice of a lawyer.

It is also recommend that you consider the following questions before making a complaint in order to ensure your protection under the Act:

  • do I have reasonable grounds for the disclosure?
  • am I making my disclosure in the public interest?
  • will the way in which I am making my disclosure maximise the legal protection's available to me?
  • do I have sufficient evidence to support my decisions without needing to gather further evidence to substantiate the disclosure?
  • am I prepared for possible disapproval of my actions?
  • am I aware of the sources of support available to help me after I make the disclosure?