6/27 Update: The ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) will seek access to the trial of accused whistleblower David McBride, according to Commonwealth lawyers, who say the national broadcaster has expressed an interest in influencing orders affecting the trial.
Mr McBride, 55, was greeted outside the ACT Supreme Court this morning by a group of protesters supporting his case, holding signs with statements like “protect whistleblowers, defend democracy”.
The recent arrest of an Australian whistleblower and police raids on journalists’ offices have triggered movement toward stronger whistleblower protection laws in that country. Another case in the Australian news is a reminder that whistleblowers often give up beloved careers to expose wrongdoing.
In one a recent case, a federal judge was quoted calling Australia’s whistleblower laws “technical, obtuse and intractable.”
Transparency campaigners have welcomed attorney general Christian Porter’s announcement that whistleblower protections will be strengthened, while urging him to establish a new whistleblower protection authority, create a compensation scheme and shield a broader range of people.
Porter on Friday flagged his intention to overhaul public sector whistleblower protections, in an attempt to make the system simpler and more accessible to government employees.
More from The New York Times on David William McBride, who is charged with leaking classified military documents to Australian Broadcasting Corporation journalists. McBride admits to leaking documents that led to a story on Australian special forces in Afghanistan.