A royal commissioner has promised to protect whistleblowers who fear retribution from their employer or an aged-care provider if they help the inquiry, 9 News reports.
Commissioner Richard Tracey QC said a number of people have raised concerns about not being identified or the potential impact of talking with the royal commission on their families.
He assured them they will be protected, as he encouraged aged care workers, the families of residents and other members of the public to come forward.
“Let there be no doubt, the royal commission will not hesitate to take steps within its powers to ensure that witnesses and those otherwise engaging with us are protected in accordance with the Royal Commissions Act or the common law,” Mr Tracey said.
Mr Tracey said it is a criminal offence for a person to ‘injure’ someone who has appeared as a witness, produced a document or given information or response in response to a royal commission summons or notice.
“Were an employer to seek to deter a person from assisting us, this may give rise to an offence,” he said.
“If, for example, an institution or individual sought any form of legal redress against a member of the public or of their staff acting as a whistleblower seeking to volunteer information to us, that would result in very close attention being given to the lawfulness of that conduct and the motives behind it,” Mr Tracey said.