Wilkie wants whistleblower protection
INDEPENDENT MP Andrew Wilkie has given the Federal Government an ultimatum - to introduce protection for whistleblowers or he will take matters into his own hands.
Speaking at the launch of a worldwide whistleblowers survey in Brisbane today, Mr Wilkie said he would introduce a private members bill into parliament for the protection of whistleblowers if the government did not act.
"I don't have much confidence that the government is going to get it through the term so I will give the government three more months," he said.
"If, at the end of August, the government is not making real progress on whistleblower legislation, and I am not confident that it's going to be through the parliament by the next election, then I will move a private members bill on public interest disclosure legislation."
Before entering politics, Mr Wilkie, after resigning as an Australian intelligence analyst, blew the whistle on the Federal Government's misleading reasoning to enter the Iraq War.
When Mr Wilkie threw his crossbench support behind Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her minority government in 2010, Ms Gillard agreed to introduce the whistleblower legislation alongside Mr Wilkie's controversial pokie machine reforms.
That agreement was torn up this year when the Prime Minister reneged on the pokie reform.
"At that point there was no obligation on the Federal Government to continue with the whistleblowing legislation project," Mr Wilkie said.
"I have spoken with Minister Gary Gray only last week and I have written to the Prime Minister about this and it appears the government is still progressing but very, very slowly.
"I think there is a question mark over whether or not the government really has its heart in it and whether or not it really will get the legislation through the parliament."