Jul 7th 2022

Strong first step for new Attorney-General

GetUp welcomes this first decision from new Attorney-General, Mark Dreyfus, to drop the prosecution against Witness K’s lawyer, Bernard Collaery, for his role in exposing the alleged spying of East Timor.

This is a massive win for press freedom in Australia – a country where journalists and whistleblowers have increasingly been targeted for speaking out in the public interest.

GetUp urges the Attorney-General to act now to drop the current prosecutions against Richard Boyle and David McBride – whistleblowers who are currently facing jail time for speaking out against injustice. These cases are not in the public interest.

The Attorney-General must restore confidence after years of government hell bent on attacking journalists, whistleblowers, and press freedom. He must use his powers to intervene in the cases of Richard Boyle and David McBride and make whistleblower reform a top priority.

Tosca Lloyd, Media & Democracy Campaign Director at GetUp said:

“We thank the new Attorney-General for using his powers to intervene in Collaery’s prosecution. However, there is more work to be done.

“We are calling on the Attorney-General to drop the current prosecutions against the whistleblowers David McBride and Richard Boyle.

“Whistleblower protections in Australia are woefully inadequate and must be reformed to safeguard journalists and their sources.

“Dropping cases against individual whistleblowers is just the beginning of ensuring press freedom in this country. We need real and deep reform to our whistleblower protections.”