State Emergency Services (SES) whistleblower Tara McCarthy has already achieved a lot and it looks as though she will achieve a great deal more. Because of Ms McCarthy it appears that the NSW whistleblower protection laws are about to be tested to the limit. Former NSW State Emergency Services Commissioner Murray Kear is likely to be charged with criminal offences for sacking her for being a whistleblower.
There are also lessons to be learnt from Ms McCarthy’s story that will come in handy for current and future whistleblowers which includes myself and this website. At the very least her story will give other whistleblowers hope and motivation. I know many of the readers of this site are whistleblowers and would know this is long overdue but very good news.
The SMH reported: “In the first case of its kind in NSW, the former head of the State Emergency Service is facing prosecution for sacking a whistleblower.”
“The Independent Commission Against Corruption found last year that former SES Commissioner Murray Kear had acted corruptly by sacking his deputy, Tara McCarthy, after she exposed potential misconduct in the ranks.”
“The Director of Public Prosecutions has now advised the commission that there is “sufficient evidence” to charge Mr Kear with an offence under the state’s whistleblower protection laws.”
“The Public Interest Disclosures Act makes it an offence for a public official to take “detrimental action against a person … substantially in reprisal” for whistleblowing.”
“The offence carries a maximum two-year prison sentence. Mr Kear would be the first person prosecuted under the laws.” (Click here to read more)
Murray Kear is long gone from the SES as he resigned in July 2014 which was 2 weeks after the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) made findings that he was corrupt. (Click here to read more)
Tara McCarthy was reinstated last year but only on a 6 month contract at this stage. “A whistleblower who was improperly sacked from the State Emergency Service for exposing potential misconduct in the ranks will return to the “job of her dreams” on Monday – more than a year after she was ousted.” (Click here to read more)
In the past there have been a lot of ways that whistleblowers were dealt with. Everything from being sacked which is quite common, offered bribes to shut their mouths and being bastardized are standard methods that are used in attempts to silence whistleblowers.
But with the truth train of the internet it is becoming harder and harder for corrupt managers and politicians etc to make whistleblowers go away. Slowly but surely judgement day is coming to those who deserve to be held to account.
In NSW it is the Ombudsman who has oversight of making sure whistleblowers are protected and the Public Interest Disclosures Act is enforced. (Click here to read more) I know I will be giving them a call in the not too distant future.
It will only take one person like former SES Commissioner Murray Kear to get some jail time and it will stop a lot of corruption and encourage other whistleblowers to come forward. If Mr Kear is charged, just the fact that he is potentially facing jail time will be enough rattle a lot of people. Whether or not he goes to jail becomes a minor issue.
Some people look at Craig Thomson who had his criminal conviction overturned in December last year and Peter Slipper who had his conviction overturned a couple of days ago and say the justice system does not work. Maybe it doesn’t at the moment but that will change with time if the pressure is kept up.
But just remember it is no picnic to be hauled into court, run up huge legal bills, be publicly humiliated and have their careers destroyed. The likes of Thomson and Slipper haven’t gotten away with anything and neither has former SES Commissioner Murray Kear. Kear has already lost his job and if he is charged the punishment listed above of legal bills and public humiliation etc will just be starting.
I wasn’t previously aware of the Public Interest Disclosures Act that protects whistleblowers but now I am it will be getting a big workout so make sure you at least have a quick look at it.
Admin: I filed my amended defence on Friday in the matter against Kerry Stokes. Stokes would have to be feeling like Craig Thomson now. The defamation case has forced me to dig deeper. I now have 4 Federal Court Judges instead of 1 who say that Mr Stokes gave “knowingly false”evidence and evidence he “knew was untrue” when he was in the witness stand under oath. More on that in the future (Click here to read the defence)
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Categories: Independent Commission Against Corruption - ICAC
It is like winning the Lottery seeing this case come up. Finally some one in the system has decided that the system has to start to look like it is being used as they make out it is suppose too. I love it when the ends come together, and every thing they do can’t prevent it happening.
Hi Shane this is great news I share your hopes that others will take heart and come forward one has to wonder what will happen to Julian Assange now. Good luck with your court case ….
Take care and kind regards Patti
If Kear is found guilty will he have the judgement overturned on appeal ?
Last week, I saw the movie “Citizen Four” by Laura Pointras (http://www.google.com.au/movies?hl=en&near=Sydney+NSW&dq=citizenfour+in+sydney&mid=86a81d8b6afb6e31&sa=X&ei=9efxVLuLIOTOmAXqqYHAAQ&ved=0CBoQwAM )
which proves how vitally important to real democracy being a whistleblower is.
It just won the Ocar for Best Documentary ; but don’t be disappointed, if you don’t know it’s because the main stream media in Australia (oops should I have said USA-stralia ) won’t let you know !!
Congratulations to Tara McCarthy for being resilient, strong, professional and above all honest.
Perfectly said Shane. Thomson & Slipper may have had minor victories, but it doesn’t matter because they have had their reputations destroyed, and being humiliated forever means everything. Whistleblowers are true heroes against corruption, like Kathy Jackson & many others. Tara Mccarthy is an another whistleblower that must be congratulated.
Sacked for been a whistleblower happened to me and that is what brought me to follow this site. I’m glad you were here Shane. It is not a nice thing to have no job and the corrupt still have theirs. Good to see the underdog win in this case and just maybe I can still put fear into the corrupt that sacked me. Bring on the truth train!
When honesty becomes a crime you know the country is in trouble .
Well congratulations to all concerned in this whistle blowers Fiasco, as terry says honesty is threatened in this corrupt world and Shane and co. are doing a great service to the country when in their terrier attitude brings the sewage to their comeuppance. When corrupt members of the establishment outnumber the honest citizens trouble is inevitable. Allan from Myalup WA.
This is great to see although a bit too late for me now. Good on this lass for keeping on at it.
I got ousted via a quick redundancy (and she was ‘assisted’ by the union hack to boot!) for simply knowing too much about how she operated her private business. It was a local government here in WA within the metro region, where this woman got away with what is essentially an 11 year interest free loan for not paying her rates for that entire time on a family restaurant! I watched an accounts guy have his job derailed for simply performing his duty (the CEO got involved there and pulled the item from the council’s agenda) so the accounts man left. The payroll officer tried for years to get the CCC to look into it but they avoided his complaints, reported back to her which made his life unbearable so he took an early retirement.
I was being instructed to go to do her private banking on council time and simply saw and heard too much so she got nervous. The sad thing is, this woman has been promoted to HR Manager (with no qualifications at all) and the rest of us have seen no honesty nor justice but we sure have seen corruption being well supported and rewarded. Thank goodness for sites such as this.
Isn’t it time to make an addendum to this topic given that Kear has been found to have not sack McCarthy for being a whistle blower? You could also as a matter of fairness not all of the Judges findings