Victoria's Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 (the PID Act) has replaced the Protected Disclosures Act 2012 which had superseded the Whistleblowers Protection Act in 2013. The updates to the PID Act provides stronger protections for people who make disclosures about improper conduct in the public sector, including Wellington Shire Council, its staff, employees and Councillors.
A complaint or allegation that is already in the public domain will not normally be a covered under a public interest disclosure, for example if the matter has already been subject to media or other public commentary. The term 'disclosure' is interpreted under the Act in the ordinary sense of the word as a 'revelation' to the person receiving it.
People making a disclosure must believe, on reasonable grounds, that a Councillor or Council employee has engaged in, or proposes to engage in, improper conduct. The conduct must be serious enough to constitute a criminal offence or reasonable grounds for dismissal.
Examples of such a disclosure may include:
The Act facilitates the disclosure of corrupt or improper conduct by public officers and public bodies, including Wellington Shire Council, its staff, employees and Councillors. It also provides protection to people who disclose this information.
The Act applies to all Victorian public bodies and public officers including:
Any person who has reasonable grounds to believe that improper or corrupt conduct has occurred can make a disclosure. If you do not feel comfortable with disclosing your details at the time of making the complaint, you can make it anonymously.
Disclosures regarding Wellington Shire Council staff should be made to the General Manager Corporate Services and alternatively, in his absence, the Chief Executive Officer may receive disclosures.
If Council believes a disclosure may be a public interest disclosure made in accordance with the Act, it will notify the disclosure to IBAC for assessment. IBAC will then deal with the disclosure.
Disclosures regarding Wellington Shire Councillors should be made directly to IBAC.
General Manager Corporate Services
Notifications are generally made in writing to IBAC either in hardcopy or via the online form. However, if you think the matter is serious and requires urgent attention, please phone IBAC on 1300 735 135. Alternatively, complete an online complaint form via the IBAC website.
GPO Box 24234, Melbourne VIC 3001
Ensure that however you choose to communicate with IBAC, you include the following: