Public Interest Disclosures

Public Interest Disclosures

The Victorian Public Interest Disclosure scheme operates under the Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 (Act) (previously the Protected Disclosures Act 2012).

The Act enables people to make disclosures about improper conduct within the public sector without fear of reprisal. The Act aims to ensure openness and accountability by encouraging people to make disclosures and protecting them when they do.

IBAC Information on Public Interest Disclosures

Local Government Inspectorate Information on Public Interest Disclosures

What is a Public Interest Disclosure?

A Public Interest Disclosure is a complaint of improper conduct by a public officer or body, which includes Councillors and Council staff.

Improper conduct includes corrupt conduct and other conduct that may be considered dishonest or a substantial departure from what would be expected of a public officer or body.

How Council treats Public Interest Disclosures

Council does not tolerate improper conduct by its Councillors or employees, nor the taking of reprisals against those who come forward to disclose such conduct.

Employees and members of the public are encouraged to report known or suspected incidences of improper conduct.

Council will take all reasonable steps to protect people who make a Public Interest Disclosure. Council will also afford natural justice to any person who is the subject of a disclosure.

Protections of Persons making a Public Interest Disclosure

Public Interest Disclosures may be made by employees or by members of the public.

Part 2 of the Act provides that a person may make a disclosure:

  • orally or in writing (including electronically); and
  • anonymously, if the person does not wish to identify themselves.

Public Interest Disclosures may relate to improper conduct by:

  • the organisation;
  • employees of Council; or
  • Councillors while acting in their official capacity.

Council is authorised under the Act to address disclosures related to Hindmarsh Shire Council and its employees. Public Interest Disclosures about Councillors should be addressed by IBAC.

Who to Contact

Disclosures should be made to:

Public Interest Dicslosure Coordinator
Postal Address: PO Box 250, NHILL  VIC  3418
Phone: (03) 5391 4444

Alternative Contact

Disclosures may also be made directly to IBAC:
Independent Broad-Based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC)

Street address:
Level 1, North Tower
459 Collins Street Melbourne

Postal address: GPO Box 24234, Melbourne VIC 3001
Phone: 1300 735 135

All disclosures about Councillors should be directed to IBAC.

What happens next?

Once it is determined that the complaint is a Public Interest Disclosure within the meaning of the Act, Council will assess the matter and, in accordance with the legislation, refer it to the appropriate integrity agency. The person making the disclosure will be kept informed of action taken in relation to their disclosure, and the time frames that apply.

Hindmarsh Shire Council Public Interest Disclosure Policy